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With an almost encyclopedic knowledge of film, and a passion for the medium that runs just as deep, Quentin Tarantino has never been particularly shy about sharing his opinion on movies. His latest rant included various ways that he would have made indie horror hit It Follows a better film. Turns out that ruffled more than a few feathers, including those of the director of It Follows.
Director David Robert Mitchell, who also helmed 2010’s The Myth of the American Sleepover, took to Twitter to express his displeasure with Quentin Tarantino’s assessment of his latest film. It Follows has largely been heralded as one of the more original, intriguing, and generally best horror films of the last few years (and though there are certainly issues and lingering question, I, for one, tend to agree), but the Pulp Fiction and The Hateful Eight director took exception with a number of elements of the film.
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like, just that it’s not as good as it could have been. As he told Vulture, It Follows is:
[O]ne of those movies that’s so good that you start getting mad at it for not being great.
He took issue with how It Follows breaks its own internal mythology, especially with the villains, who are pretty easy to spot in a crowd if you’ve seen the movie. He also cites a few other ways where the movie apparently crosses its own self-imposed boundaries, and points out how the geeky outcast guy is actually a total babe, even if everyone apparently ignores this fact. For what it’s worth, some folks seem to agree with Tarantino’s appraisal, while others think he is being overly nitpicky, case in point, Mitchell.
The director’s social media response isn’t the first reply to Quentin Tarantino’s remarks. In the world of It Follows, if you sleep with the wrong person, you essentially contract a sexually transmitted ghost, or monster or whatever you want to call the entity, that stalks you across any distance and will ultimately kill you. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to someone you sleep with. The way information is imparted is via a character who has figured some of this out on his own. To get rid of his own curse, he sleeps with heroine Jay (Maika Monroe), and then gives a quick lesson about what’s in store for her.
The way Mitchell sees it, the so-called “rules” of the film are just one character’s interpretation of what he has experienced. That’s how we understand what the creature is, but the conclusions he has jumped to, based on whatever he has seen, may not tell the whole story or include all of the possible information. What we know is based on what he knows, and as such, is likely incomplete.
If you want to check out It Follows for yourself and see which side of this argument you fall on, it is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, and however else you consume your media these days. And it’s definitely one that’s worth watching, flawed or not, especially for horror fans.