“It Follows”: Ten Things We’ve Read Online That Have Us Counting The Days Till Release!

You may have seen the “Milestone” widget in the footers counting down the days until It Follows (nice creepy title) will be out on VOD and DVD/Blu-Ray. Why, you ask? Read on.

It Follows–written and directed by David Robert Mitchell–garnered up a ton of positive buzz when it made the festival circuit last summer; reviewers went out of their way to praise the film and tell readers how frightening it is.  We would include the creepy trailer here, but more than one review advised going into this movie knowing as little as possible about the details, and to avoid the trailer in particular. Some of the reviews say that the last act of the film is uneven, but none of them advise us to avoid the movie because of it.

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So we will give you the official plot given out in the PR, which lets you know just about the right amount of detail:

For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.

Here are ten excerpts from top reviewers that got us to put it on our Must-See List (with links and annotations, in case you want to read the actual pieces in their entirety).

1. The first is from Variety.com. We re-posted their review last summer (yep, that’s how long this has been on our Must-See List) which you can read here. What grabbed us, you ask? Well, here is the set-up from the reviewer:

“As bogeymen go, Mitchell’s monster is both intuitive (like something out of a bad dream) and impossible to comprehend (despite much discussion, no one seems to know how to beat it). The pic’s malevolent shape-shifter can take the form of anyone, from a beloved relative to a complete stranger. Sometimes it’s subtle enough to blend in with crowds. At others, it’s frighteningly conspicuous: a naked old man staring at you from a nearby rooftop, or a cheerleader leaking urine as she lurches across the living-room floor. The only certainty seems to be that it won’t stop until you’re dead. And once you’re dead, it will go after the person who “gave” it to you.“

So, Variety already had our full attention after we read this. Then it got better.  This is from the IGN.com review:

2 .It’s a refreshing change for modern horror, which has become far too reliant on jump scares and deafening sound cues, in place of carefully mounting tension. Mitchell prefers a slow burn. The use of wide shots is particularly successful once Jay starts being pursued. It’s almost like a sick game of ‘Where’s [Waldo?]’ – find the plodding killer in the frame before it’s too late…

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3. The rules of the damned in It Follows are intriguing and frightening. The never-named apparition will follow you forever, for instance, but it has to follow on foot. You can briefly elude the monster by driving away but it always comes back, leading to one shocking moment after another in which Mitchell’s impeccable wide shots gradually reveal a single individual gradually making their way into the foreground, while the oblivious protagonists ignore the audience’s pleas to RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! (Reviewed by William Bibbiani,* editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue MoviePodcast*).

There’s not a single character in Mitchell’s film that fails to elicit our sympathy, and so their demises always resonate like a tuning fork from Hell.

 

4. Once the scares start to come, they rarely let up. Mitchell, in only his second full-length, does an incredible job of creating horror not only in small houses in the middle of the night but in beachfronts with the sun shining down, in schoolyards on an overcast day, and in the middle of an empty street with nothing in sight… The highest compliment I can pay the movie is that its moments of horror play out like something from an old children’s ghost story. It’s not hard to imagine finding the tale within the pages of a collection of folklore akin to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (now with sex!).**

By this point we felt like grabbing all the cash we had on hand and tossing it frantically at the screen of the laptop we were reading on; sadly, we knew that wouldn’t get us the movie magically appear online to watch and we still had to wait. Here’s more of the praise heaped on It Follows by critics we trust.

5. It Follows is suspenseful, atmospheric and spine-tingling horror cinema which nods at the masters and completely astounds as it manages the tough feat of being striking, sensitive and utterly disturbing. (Film.list.co.uk, read more here)

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6. Director David Robert Mitchell gives this an almost art-house vibe, mixed with a retro-eighties look and an amazing synth-soundtrack that sounds like a cross between Vangellis and John Carpenter. Mitchell does a brilliant job ratcheting up the terror throughout the film, and by the time the end credits rolled I was almost feeling queasy from how on edge I had been during the last act of the film. …IT FOLLOWS will likely become a big-time horror sleeper once Radius (who acquired the rights out of Cannes) puts it out, and if you can see this on the big screen that would be all the better. It’s a tremendous horror flick and the scariest film I’ve seen in years. It’s deeply, deeply unsettling. (JoBlo, click here to read the full TIFF review.)

7. Chris Bumbray at Reelfilm.com gave the movie 8/10 stars, even though he had problems with the last act of the film. Though it fizzles out to a slight degree in its final stretch, It Follows nevertheless establishes itself as one of the most inventive, exciting, and truly frightening horror flicks to come around in ages.

 

“More or less a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.”

 

 

8. The movie’s a brilliantly fresh spin on a classic model – the pass-on-the-curse conceit which horror fans will know from MR James’s shivery short story “Casting the Runes”, and its numerous cinematic offspring, from Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon (1957) to the Japanese cult hit Ringu (2000) and its American remake, The Ring (2002). It Follows – which deserves even more marks for that marvellously suggestive title – does this entire lineage proud, not just by switching tacks from runic subterfuge or videotape circulation to the rather Cronenberg-y gambit of inflicting a demon on your unfortunate sex partner. It’s altogether smart, subtextually fascinating, and more or less a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true. (Tim Robey, Telegraph UK)

 

“It’s a tremendous horror flick and the scariest film I’ve seen in years. It’s deeply, deeply unsettling”.

 

8. Fangoria LOVED this movie (8/10 skulls), and Chris Alexander (Fangoria Editor and the writer of this review) said this:. It Follows is an incredibly evolved, joyously alive piece of “dead teenager” cinema that likely requires a few viewings to properly assimilate its rhythms. And it could easily become part of any High School health class curriculum, because If I saw it as a kid, when I was at my hormonal, girl-hungry peak, I’d likely pack my bags and move to a monastery.

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9. There’s a primal fear at work here – everyone gets nervous about being followed – and even though the monster is fiction, I suspect the anxiety may pursue the viewer home. (Luke Y. Thompson, Toplessrobot.com)

Well, that won’t be a problem, since we will be watching it at home, so the anxiety won’t have to follow us anywhere! Nope, it’ll be right there with us.

10. Finally, we can’t count the number of pieces in which the writer stated that John Carpenter was clearly a huge influence. Early John Carpenter.

It Follows will be in theaters and VOD on March 13th. The tagline is, “IT DOESN’T THINK. IT DOESN’T FEEL. IT NEVER GIVES UP.”

 

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This just in: It Follows won the critic’s prize– AKA top honors– at the Glasgow International Film Festival. This isn’t a genre festival, either, which makes the win even more impressive. It even topped A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, which, as you probably are aware, is no small feat. Read about it here.

 

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*Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani

** Read the full review here at ConsequencesOfSound.net.

We might actually see Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno this year

Aaaand lookie here! Ryan at Rhino’s Horror has some news about Eli Roth’s very, VERY delayed release (it was supposed to open in early September of 2014, and the movie made its festival premiere at TIFF in 2013, so it was already kind of overdue) of The Green Inferno! As you may recall, the long-awaited theatrical release from Open Road was bumped just weeks before it opened. Apparently the plan is still to release it in theaters, due to a change in management at World View. Read on for more information on Roth’s estimated theatrical release date…

Last year, as we approached the September debut of Eli Roth’s much-anticipated The Green Inferno, it was pulled from its release indefinitely due to some behind-the-scenes bullshit. Now, after many months of silence and leaving fans in the dark, Eli Roth spoke up about the film’s fate.

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And The A-List Mystery Actor Playing Guy LaPointe in Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” Is… (SPOILER)

OK… last chance to keep from spoiling who the unbilled, “quirky”, well-liked A-List actor playing the detective in Kevin Smith’s body horror opus Tusk. Are you sure you don’t want to preserve the surprise?

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Mr. Johnny Depp! Just who we had hoped it would be. His daughter also appears in the movie.

This isn't necessarily him in character, just a photo of Mr. Depp. We looked really hard for one of him appearing in the movie, too.

This isn’t necessarily him in character, just a photo of Mr. Depp. We looked really hard for one of him appearing in the movie, too.

Kevin Smith’s first choice for the role was Quentin Tarantino, whom Smith says turned the part down because he’s not really focusing on acting so much these days. This may be–OK, will be– the only time in history Johnny Depp was the second choice for an acting role after the part was declined by Tarantino! Wikipedia (with Smith’s podcast as the source) says that Tusk’s starting date was delayed to November  2013 due to the filming location moving from Canada to North Carolina, “then an additional two days of filming occurred in Los Angeles for scenes involving Johnny Depp’s character Guy LaPointe”. Here’s the citation for that.

Sources:

Fangoria.com

Wikipedia

plus some guy starring in the movie names Justin Long.

Who knows, they all could be lying their asses off as part of some elaborate prank, but that would actually hurt rather than help the movie. All sources point to Johnny Depp as the unbilled actor playing a (retired) detective looking into the missing-persons case of Justin Long’s character.  We’re also going out on a limb here and guessing the detective will be killed right after he discovers that Michael Parks character has kidnapped him. A moment too late!

Here’s the first full-length trailer for Tusk, and honestly, we think it looks pretty goddamned horrifying (“fucked-up” seems to be the most used adjective by fans who caught the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness showing recently).

That’s what he gets for growing that hipster walrus mustache, huh?

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Award-Winning SUCKABLOOD! (2012, Bloody Cuts) Is The Scariest (And Coolest) Short Horror Film Of the Week

On dark stormy nights, the Suckablood comes
for those boys and girls who still suck their thumbs…

 

Early Teaser Poster for Suckablood

Early Teaser Poster for Suckablood

 

This dark little treasure is pretty scary, but I also defy any horror fan (especially those who follow Horror Boom) to watch this without grinning at least once. This one? No cheap jump scares, sudden blasts of sound (we try to avoid those when posting short horror movies, which is why we don’t always have them up on a weekly basis). From the opening frame, you can tell that the film-makers were having a hell of a fun time with this dark, gothic fairytale while putting every ounce of care and attention to detail they had–and then some– into Suckablood. This one’s a great ride, so crank up the volume and watch it on the biggest screen you have that’ll play HD. Check it out below …after lights out, of course (it takes place at night, and is best viewed that way).* If you can’t see what lurks in the background of the featured image above (hint: they’re red and glowing),  it needs to be darker in the room!

Spoilers after the film, so watch it before you read any more.

Moral: Sometimes it’s a bad idea to frighten small children into obedience with folktales at bed-time. Nothing goes as planned for anyone involved (except the Suckablood, I guess, who seems like he’s in a pretty good mood at the end).  This is why we’re going to miss the Bloody Cuts series of short films so much! I honestly can’t pick a favorite Bloody Cuts film, if pressed, I could probably pick the top three, and this would be in there (along with Dead Man’s Lake and… shit, you know what? I don’t think I can narrow it down to three).

Suckablood was the fifth film in the Bloody Cuts series, written and directed by Ben Tillet (who also does double duty as the spot-on narrator) and Jake Hendriks. Among others, special recognition should go to Enrica Sciandrone for the atmospheric, perfect score.

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The perfect gothic cinematography by Jonny Franklin also… OK, the hell with it, EVERYONE who worked on this one deserves special recognition:

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We found the above image (which Bloody Cuts owns the copyrights to) On a “Behind the Scenes” page/BIG photo album about the making of Suckablood on the Bloody Cuts site. Click here for much, much more on the official page… and here’s a good post on the Bloody Cuts blog about all the awards the short film has won! These include, but are not limited to:

  • First Prize for Best Horror in the 2012 International Filmskillet contest
  • The Audience Award at the Bootleg Film Festival
Suckablood has won the prize for Best horror in the 2012 Summer International Film Skillet conte – See more at: http://www.bloodycuts.co.uk/category/films/suckablood/#sthash.guWQtTHv.dpuf

The fantastic thing about the Bootleg Film Festival is the opportunity the audience (and the filmmakers!) have to chat to everyone about the films showcased. There is so much passion and talent there, it’s astounding.

As if the evening couldn’t get any better… we also received some excellent news courtesy of “Write Shoot Cut”, who announced that “Suckablood” had won TWO awards!

1.) “Suckablood” won The Golden Haggis Award, the Palme D’or of “Write Shoot Cut” – awarded to what they believe to be an exceptional short film. What an honour!

2.) “Suckablood” won The Audience Award, voted for by the people… which is amazing. Thank you!

– See more at: http://www.bloodycuts.co.uk/category/films/suckablood/#sthash.guWQtTHv.dpuf

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* I first saw it during the day and when I re-watched it in the darkest room in the house alone at night, caught things I missed on first viewing.

Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno – Horror Boom Hunted Down Ten Trivia Tidbits To Whet Your Appetite

The movie isn’t opening for months, but we’re scouring the internet for new information several times a week. You may have heard some of these pieces of trivia (including some spoiler-ish, but you’ve got to click here to go to our Spoiler-A-Rama page to read them, so don’t worry about having surprises ruined), but we bet you haven’t heard them all – unless, of course, you were lucky enough to attend a film festival screening …or you’re as psyched up and obsessed with Eli Roth’s upcoming cannibal shocker as we are!

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1. Eli Roth announced at the world premiere that a sequel titled Beyond the Green Inferno is officially in the works. The second film will not be directed by Roth, but by Nicholas López (Aftershock)

2. The title The Green Inferno is a reference to the name of a (fictional) 16mm film-within-a film in Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust; it is also one of the alternate (but rarely used) titles of Cannibal Holocaust 2.

3.  The beautiful lead actress (actually, we’re pretty sure all the actresses in the film who play the hapless student activists are beautiful before the horrible plan crash)  in The Green Inferno,  Lorenza Izzo, also had the lead in Aftershock* (2013).

No, Eli Roth isn't IN the Green Inferno, it's Photoshopped (but still funny)

No, Eli Roth isn’t IN the Green Inferno, it’s Photoshopped (but still funny)

4. Lorenzo Izzo not only sells the hell out of her screen time, she’s a real trooper. Eli Roth said in an interview on IGN.com that she got “devoured by bugs…You’d wake up and mosquitos and ants had bitten your face. [We had to]  sleep completely covered from head-to-toe or you’d get devoured.”

5.  Eli Roth wanted the location to be as authentic as possible. When in Peru scouting locations during pre-production (in summer, for Godssake), they travelled the river until they found a village so far, far off the grid that it had no electricity, no running water, and the villagers lived in grass huts. Though the travel time to and from the set was grueling–Roth says the cast and crew would get up at 4:45 AM, lugged their equipment into Land Rovers, then boats, then up the river, then lugged everything into the village–Roth says he picked that village to shoot in because it truly looked like it was from another time.

6. The practical effects and make-up were done by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger, AKA KNB EFX,  AKA the best, as far as we’re concerned. Even some of the mixed reviews we’ve read–the kind where you can tell a couple sentences in that the reviewer is not especially fond of horror movies– grudgingly give Nicotero and Co. their props, admitting the gore effects were flawless, realistic, and top-notch. For many of these reviewers, it seemed like these scenes were their favorite parts of the movie.

7.   Roth says that to get permission to film in the village, they film-makers had to explain to the village what a movie was, because they didn’t know and didn’t speak English, but a language called “Quechua”. He chose to get a generator and a TV out to them and show them Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust.  The villagers reaction? “[They] thought it was a comedy …the funniest thing that they’d ever seen** …they wanted to play cannibals in the movie. So we had the entire village acting in the film.” (Source: IGN)

8. Eli Roth has made it very clear whenever discussing TGI that his main inspiration was Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, and that this movie never would have been made if it were not for Holocaust and the other movies in the genre. In this case, Roth goes above and beyond his devotion to this genre than simply pointing this out in the media. During the end credits, he goes out of his way to honor the films that inspired TGI;  he actually lists all of the films from the cannibal subgenre, complete with all of the titles they were released under and all the various aliases used by the Italian filmmakers [Source: Drew McWeeny, Hitflix.com].

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9. The average temperature during the shoot was 110 degrees. …in the shade.

10. Though Eli Roth cannot praise Cannibal Holocaust enough, he says he abhors violence to animals (and in CH, at least seven animals are murdered on-screen, which he does not condone (though he hasn’t gone out of his away to speak out against it, either,  which we wish he would).  Roth has been an animal rights supporter and PETA spokesperson for years –  see below.

Click here to see a PSA with Roth and a really cute animatronic python.

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So, no animals were harmed in the making of a grindhouse cannibal movie filmed on location -for once.

Finally, we have some Green Inferno SPOILERS! Instead of putting them in this article, where someone might stumble upon the in error, we chose to put them here on the Spoiler-A-Rama page. Click here for the spoilers... ironically, most of them were just smack-dab in the middle of mainstream reviews, no warnings, nothing.

If you haven’t seen the new full-length trailer for The Green Inferno, click here – we have it posted!

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*To this day, I don’t understand all the hate by critics and viewers for Aftershock. I went in with low expectations after seeing the 5/10 star ratings on the IMDB and some brutal reviews, but from the time the earthquake hit (yes, we shouldn’t have had to sit through 40 minutes of borderline-mumblecore character development) until the gut-punch of the final shot,  I was actively frightened, shocked by almost everything that went as horribly wrong as possible, several startlingly effective moments clearly thrown in for the horror fans, and, pardon the pun, shook up. Uneven? Fair enough. Deeper meanings? Not so much. Entertaining? Absolutely.

**This is where we’d quietly back off, get a hold of our travel agent, and arrange to book a flight home ASAP.

 

 

 

Toronto Film Review: ‘All Cheerleaders Die’

Excerpt from the Variety review by Dennis Harvey:

…Viewing all this with dismay is goth girl Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee), who until now apparently enjoyed intimacies with Maddy not strictly emotional in nature. She’s lurking around, spying on her ex’s Sapphic seduction of Tracy at a party in the woods, when a violent girls-vs.-boys argument results in a deadly car accident. Leena uses her trusty magic Wiccan stones to revive the deceased, and by morning, several not-so-dead cheerleaders are back in class — albeit with two sisters (Reanin Johannink and Amanda Grace Cooper) now inconveniently stuck in each other’s bodies, and all afflicted by a new desire to suck the life force from any nearby male. Especially obnoxious football-playing ones.

Lucky McKee? Campy bloodfest? We’ll give it a chance! First, though, we need to hunt down the short film it was based on until we can get our paws on All Cheerleaders Die.

 

Director Ti West Aims for Mainstream With ‘Sacrament’

Variety also gave Ti West‘s found-footage horror flick a pretty positive review – click here to read their review, and check out the cool retro-look poster here.

 

Fantastic Fest announces closing night film!

It’s Terry Gilliam‘s The Zero Theorem! Read on for the trailer and the first official clip from the movie.

Venice Film Review: ‘The Sacrament’

We didn’t know Ti West’s The Sacrament was even a found-footage movie until we read this review.  We are pretty sure it’s going to be frightening, though…