It Follows

March 27, 2015


The low budget horror genre is the tried and true way for young, aspiring filmmakers to get noticed and, just maybe, recoup expenses.  It’s also one of the ripest –and tiredest – areas for metaphorical ruminations on the state of youth, society, politics, or whatever is topical or just easily exploited to give us chattering cinephiles a way to legitimize our interest in violence and gore.  I’m a little glib, but that’s one of the most rational ways to approach the news that David Roger Mitchell followed up his little-seen, ultra-sensitive indie portrayal of youth, The Myth of the American Sleepover, with a horror film.  As a great admirer of the former, it was natural to have doubts – the combination of the desire for him to make more of what he’s good at with the fear of that film’s more, shall we say, precious moments could see a turn into a wryly knowing, dareisay condescending attitude, towards the material.  Happily, Mitchell knows what he’s doing, and if the latter concern is occasionally flirted with – mostly in the music – it’s evident that he’s put himself in the genre rather than stand above it.  Read the rest of this entry »


There’s something queasy about the bright, digital dullness of Kingsman: The Secret Service.  Matthew Vaughn’s style worked well enough in his (other) 60s throwback pastiche, the singularly interesting if not terribly exciting X-Men: First Class – and it’s a testament to his particular visual sense that the similar era wasn’t nearly as fun or vivid in Singer’s Days of Future Past installment – but here he runs into the same trouble as he did with his previous Mark Millar comic book adaptation, Kick-Ass.  The contrast of extreme violence with the bright, silly worlds created isn’t, for the most part, shocking enough to register as anything other than nihilist geek gore.  Read the rest of this entry »