I saw this at Sundance. It seemed well received. I can't really judge. I think I've seen less than a dozen scary movies in my whole life; the last being Cabin in the Woods. So I may not be the best judge of "It Follows". And I'd really like to hear opinions from other Filmspotters.
First, I liked that it was psycho scary, not gross out scary. A lot a reviewers have commented on the scariest scenes being someone just walking slowly straight toward camera. I must admit, I was more scared by the jump scares. I liked the suspense in the scenes with "It". Whether it was the girl in the movie theater, or the different people walking across the grass. Or the guy on the roof. (BTW - that really is the Redford Michigan Movie theater. They run old films on Fridays and Saturdays)
I really liked when Jay was somewhere by herself, just looking around, waiting for her follower. Unfortunately, the soundtrack seemed to be turned up to 11. This meant the scary music seemed over the top a lot, and it really telegraphed what was going to happen next. I've seen many reviews praising the soundtrack. So much so that I wonder if it was reworked between Sundance and wide release.
The film did look kind of grainy and independent. It had almost a home made, faded quality to it. At times this was distracting. But, I thought the framing and the shots were well done. Good visual technique. Obviously, the director has learned from watching a lot of movies and I thought the point of view was always interesting and not too showy. It helped with the suspense.
I liked the overall feel. Maybe this is because I live in the area where it was shot, and recognized many of the settings, but it didn't feel bigger than life. It felt real. I didn't consciously notice how much director David Robert Mitchell tried to convey a timeless quality, but I felt it when I watched the film. The sets didn't feel dressed. They felt organic. The wardrobe was not as successful however. It felt planned and a bit unnatural. That did the characters a disservice. Because how the teenagers related to each other felt familiar and not stagey. Maia Monroe as Jay, was always interesting to watch. I was also pulled in to Bailey Spry's performance, even though she is only in the first scenes. I am hoping to see her on screen again.
The "waiting" section was very draggy. I'm hoping that was intentional, as it echoed the awful waiting to see what happens next that Jay was facing. But it made me shuffle around waiting for the film to just get on with it.
The water theme started out great. Jay in the backyard pool was so intriguing. And the girls in Lake Michigan was tense. But I don't think it sufficiently set the stage for the final attack in the swimming pool.
Many comments online about an unsatisfying third act. I kind of agree. At the time I remember not minding the ending. But now, two months later, I honestly don't remember exactly how the films ends. I remember loving the atmosphere in the public swimming pool, and the lighting, but after that, not many memories.
This is a director I will seek out in the future. Overall it was an good watch because I had no expectations going into the film. I can't confirm that this is the best horror film of the 21st century, or even that it's the best since Blair Witch. All that sounds like hyperbole anyway, and I just don't have the exposure to this genre to compare it to anything.
So what do the rest of you think?