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Author Topic: The Void and It Follows  (Read 312 times)
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« on: August 01, 2017, 06:09:53 PM »

Who has seen the movie The Void?
I'd be very surprised if Steerpike hadn't, because it kind of seems like it's his thing...  grin

Personally, I was pretty disappointed. I felt like it was really overhyped for what it is, or maybe I was just expecting too much. One of the reviewer quotes was "Stranger Things + Event Horizon" and that really caught my attention, but the end result just felt like... definitely not that. More cheesy and with a story that ended up not making a whole lot of sense.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 09:18:49 PM by sparkletwist » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 10:21:24 PM »

Yeah, I saw it, and like you, I was hugely disappointed. Which is sad, because the effects were pretty phenomenal at times, but they weren't deployed very well in the film.

I felt like it was as if the third act of a horror movie got padded out to a full film. It didn't seem to understand the basic structures of horror film at all, and I thought its citations of Lovecraft were borderline hackneyed. I went into it hoping for a John Carpenter-esque throwback, but it didn't have any of the elegance or suspense or clarity of Carpenter.

Partly I think it suffered from comparison with Get Out, which I saw a short while before seeing The Void, and which was just miles better on every conceivable level of storytelling and film-making.
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 02:37:48 AM »

Maybe I'm not digging hard enough, but it seems like good horror is hard to find nowadays. Is good horror hard to make, or is it just expensive?
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 11:16:01 AM »

Good horror is definitely not expensive; in fact, horror as a genre is singularly inexpensive and almost always profitable, one of the few genres for which that is true.

I tend to agree that it's somewhat hard to find, but generally I can find a good horror movie a year. Get Out (2017), The Conjuring 2 (2016), The Witch (2015), It Follows (2014) and The Babadook (2014), The Conjuring (2013), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Insidious (2010) and Let Me in (2010). I haven't seen much from 2011 but it seems like the only dud year, at least by my tastes.

The previous decade was rougher but did include films like Paranormal Activity (2009), Let the Right One In (2008), The Descent (2005), The Ring (2002), and 28 Days Later (2002), so it's not a total loss.
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 03:00:38 PM »

Yes I saw it, and the plot made me think of a much better plot. I thought it was OK, the monsters were good, it was atmospheric, but the pacing was a bit off.

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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 04:44:47 PM »

Steerpike

Good horror is definitely not expensive; in fact, horror as a genre is singularly inexpensive and almost always profitable, one of the few genres for which that is true.

I tend to agree that it's somewhat hard to find, but generally I can find a good horror movie a year. Get Out (2017), The Conjuring 2 (2016), The Witch (2015), It Follows (2014) and The Babadook (2014), The Conjuring (2013), The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Insidious (2010) and Let Me in (2010). I haven't seen much from 2011 but it seems like the only dud year, at least by my tastes.

The previous decade was rougher but did include films like Paranormal Activity (2009), Let the Right One In (2008), The Descent (2005), The Ring (2002), and 28 Days Later (2002), so it's not a total loss.

The Orphanage (2007) could also be listed as a low budget but (in my opinion) very good horror film. I felt obligated to mention it because I generally don't do horror but I recall liking this one a lot.
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 05:39:02 PM »

Steerpike

It Follows
I just plain don't get this one. Horror isn't really my thing, admittedly, but quite a few people have said good things about this so I finally got around to seeing it, and I honestly have no idea how we could've watched the same movie. The anachronistic 80s-but-not-really setting was pretty cool, and the soundtrack was great (and fit the setting perfectly) but the rest was... ugh.


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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 06:17:05 PM »

It's interesting, It Follows is incredibly divisive. I have met people who think it's the best horror movie of the decade hands down, and others who shared your reaction precisely, sparkletwist. I think it depends on whether you find the creature genuinely creepy or not. Some people find the idea of being forever, inexorably followed just enormously unnerving and feel like the film really evokes a proper sense of dread. But I've met others who, like you, found it totally absurd, farcical, and un-scary.

I do understand the way it seems like an anti-sex parable, but honestly I found that because of the way the film depicted sex - which was incredibly de-sensationalized - it didn't feel like an anti-sex movie, because it really felt like the punishment so massively outstripped the "crime," which was not a crime in any case. It reminded me of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, where killing one albatross brings a living nightmare down upon the crew of a ship. Coleridge said that he wanted that poem to have no moral at all, and actually felt it almost had too much:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Mrs Barbauld once told me that she admired the Ancient Mariner very much, but that there were two faults in it – it was improbable and had no moral. As for the probability, I owned that that might admit some question; but as to the want of a moral, I told her that in my judgement the poem had too much; and that the only, or chief fault, if I might say so, was the obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the reader as a principle or cause of action in a work of such pure imagination. It ought to have had no more moral than the Arabian Nights’ tale of the merchant’s sitting down to eat dates by the side of a well, and throwing the shells aside, and lo! a genie starts up, and says he must kill the aforesaid merchant, because, one of the date shells had, it seems, put out the eye of the genie’s son.

That's It Follows for me... the characters commit no more crime than the merchant.

I'm not wild about the climax, but in general the movie "worked" for me. I'm convinced that whether someone enjoys the movie has something to do with a person's character or psychology, but I have no idea what.
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2017, 08:29:30 PM »

Looks up It Follows on Netflix. Finds it. Starts watching it, Sees Dimensions Films, same people who made Spy Kids. Well find out which camp I am in a couple of hours.

So I might as well catalog and journal my two hour journey for everyone to see. For posterity's sake of course. Well I'm about five minutes in, and the first scare shot already fell flat. It was building up so well too...
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 08:35:52 PM by LoA » Logged


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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 02:02:22 PM »

Steerpike

I have met people who think it's the best horror movie of the decade hands down, and others who shared your reaction precisely, sparkletwist. I think it depends on whether you find the creature genuinely creepy or not. Some people find the idea of being forever, inexorably followed just enormously unnerving and feel like the film really evokes a proper sense of dread. But I've met others who, like you, found it totally absurd, farcical, and un-scary.
I find the idea of being forever inexorably followed a perfectly workable premise. It's not so much the idea that falls flat, but the movie's execution. I don't find the creature creepy because they made no effort to actually present it as such.

Do you remember the chase scenes in the Terminator movies? The protagonists are doing all they can to get away, while the terminator just keeps up its dogged pursuit at a steady pace, able to walk right through or push past any obstacle. I feel like this was what was missing from It Follows. Yes, the thing got shot in the head and didn't seem to be too bothered, but that was a one-off thing. To me, they didn't do nearly enough the hopelessness of trying to escape.

I would have had the "Greg" character be a bit of a survivalist type, or just a teenage malcontent who is good at causing mayhem. I wanted to see him have some kind of spectacular last stand-- put a bear trap on the thing's foot, set it on fire, blast it at point-blank range with a shotgun-- and it kills him anyway. You die no matter what. And yes, this would've added some gore and some jump scares, which might have diluted the psychological component, but I think it would've made the third act a lot more dramatic.
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 03:38:46 PM »

sparkletwist

I don't find the creature creepy because they made no effort to actually present it as such.

Yeah, I dunno. Maybe it's that the film's techniques just seem to work on some people and not on others? I don't know. It's not one of those things that can really be argued, since it's very subjective, but I've talked with people with both sorts of responses. My wife can barely stand most horror movies and this one didn't really bother her, for instance. But then I've also talked to real horror aficionados who you'd think would be hard to spook who found it one of the most harrowing films in recent memory.

I actually don't find the Terminator especially scary at all. I know what you're saying about implacability, but I kinda liked that the thing was very easily escaped. For me what really got under my skin was the thought of thing just always out there, always moving forward, like a malign homing pigeon, and there's nothing you can do. You can escape, it's not actually hopeless in the short term, but you can never permanently get rid of it, and so you have to be constantly on edge.

I would have loved a survivalist sequence though. I know there was a scene planned at a concert that would have been amazing.

EDIT: By the way, Kindling, I like your alternative plot idea a lot. I usually don't like "the supernatural explained" stories because they usually diminish rather than amp up the horror, but that one would really work really well.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 05:49:50 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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