Sequels = Addiction
The never-ending parade of sequels marches on. In a metaphorical sense sequels are like addiction. The first time you submit to the drug you are fine. Exploring a new world that was previously unknown. But each successive delve into the void is just an attempt to recreate the original experience to a continually residual effect.
And so it goes with sequels. The first one, the template blows you away, but the second movie or the sequel is merely a compendium of the bullet points that made the first film a hit. I can think of two movie sequels that are actually better than the original. The Empire Strikes Back and Lethal Weapon 2. Okay, maybe The Road Warrior, the sequel to Mad Max, could stand alongside those titles.
Horror films in particular operate in this sequel dimension. Recent genre films that I thought were great at the onset, like Insidious and The Conjuring, have churned out sequels that recycle ideas and concepts like a faded carbon copy of the archetype. It is my sincere wish that the current horror flick It Follows avoids that path.
It Follows mines familiar genre tropes such as teens having sex and supernatural happenings. The brains behind It Follows is David Mitchell, the writer and director and the manipulator of time and space. Mitchell mainly presents the subjective shots from the point-of-view of those who cannot see what it is that follows. But occasionally he resorts to objective shots of the main character that thinks there is a being or a presence following them. When these shots occur they literally give you tingles up and down your spine.
It Follows also uses great mise-en-scène. There’s a fantastic pool sequence (hello Let the Right One In). There’s a series of shots from a car that evoke early John Carpenter films. It Follows is a film that knows when to turn on the juice, and while there are a couple of gore sequences, they are few. Like the best horror films, It Follows prefers to let what isn’t seen be the horrific modifier.
Only now my biggest fear is that It Follows will become such a cult phenomena that it will bear a sequel. And it will just be a bunch of people following other people.
— Michael Bergeron