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It's the Booze Talkin', Can Indie Horror Follow Success of It Follows?

04.07.2015by: JimmyO

The big news this past box office weekend is certainly the huge success of FURIOUS 7, and I for one am thrilled about it. Yet for horror fans, there is something equally exciting happening. After suffering through a number of mediocre to downright awful studio attempts at genre, a little film called IT FOLLOWS is making a nice chunk of change. This low budget feature written and directed by David Robert Mitchell has managed to earn an incredible 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as find an audience looking for a little suspense. In other words, it can be done. A movie without a big name director or actors and actresses fresh from The CW has managed to create serious buzz in the industry.

For many horror fans, the major releases generally consist of found footage frights or recycled, PG-13 ghostly entities. This means lots of boo scares, loud music and too much CGI. As I’ve vented in this very column a few times before, it is ridiculous that we have to search for truly creepy scares on VOD or wait until they run on Netflix or RedBox. That is not to say that every single VOD or straight-to-DVD release is good, in fact, much of it is absolute garbage. Still, you’d think the good ones would somehow not be relegated to watching at home without the fun of a group of people cheering it on.

I’d rather not continue to rail against movies like OUIJA or ANNABELLE today, I’ve done this far too often. So let’s look at some of the recent releases that have been relegated to a tiny theatrical release (if they are lucky) and then VOD. Many consider THE BABADOOK to be one of the best recent horror films, and I am one of them. You also have DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD, STARRY EYES, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT and so many more. Perhaps studios are afraid to release an unknown director’s feature film because of the distribution cost or what have you. We all know that they tend to jump on a trend and keep it going as long as they possibly can. Yet with original horror and a good (cheap) marketing campaign, you can certainly make a decent amount opening weekend - bad horror flicks do it all the time.

And now we have IT FOLLOWS. With a very tiny release, the little thriller that could managed to find an audience and expand to a pretty big release thanks to super positive word of mouth. Certainly there are a few who did not appreciate its dreamy tone - I did. But the fact that it was able to expand as it has and make serious money is incredible. And more importantly, it gives me hope that some of these smaller titles that we may not have seen beforehand could very well connect with audiences at your local cineplex. Instead of limiting itself to the cool little arthouse theatre downtown that not everybody has - we are lucky here in Los Angeles because we have quite a few of them - maybe this will open the doors for new voices.

Aside from IT FOLLOWS, there are a couple of movies that I’m looking forward to that I’ve yet to catch up on. Filmmaker Ted Geoghegan has the very, very promising WE ARE STILL HERE which has garnered a ton of great word of mouth from festivals. Let’s get this flick on a thousand or so screens and give it a chance. I’ve heard great things about SPRING which is currently available on VOD as of March 20th. It’s a shame that many will be relegated to watching it at home. Maybe we need to have a couple more success stories before we simply see rehashes, remakes, sequels that fail to generate much more than screams because the music is too loud.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but will we see more success stories follow IT FOLLOWS? I for one hope so. There is a ton of room in the genre for original material. Or stories that have been done before yet with an interesting twist. And many of these stories are being told and they are relegated to VOD. F*ck it, we are always going to have crappy horror flicks and many of them we will probably go see in droves. But it is sure as hell inspiring when something comes out that once again reminds us that there are original and exciting filmmakers out there with stories to tell. And to see their scary tales played out with an audience on a Friday night? As a horror fan I can’t think of anything better than that.

Extra Tidbit: What Indie Horror feature are you looking forward to? Hell, I've even got a little cameo in Jose Prendes THE DIVINE TRAGEDIES so I have to give that one a shout-out!!
Source: AITH

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2:52PM on 04/07/2015

It Follows may be overhyped but it is purely entertaining.

I'm tired of tone deaf studios not realizing the potential in their product and being surprised EVERY time an indie with an unknown cast or a foreign film makes an impact. Do they even watch these films? This happens because studios are run by business men/women who don't know the first thing about art or the creation of it, they know how to crunch numbers and project opening weekends. Sure it's a business but to be "surprised" by the success of something you've acquired because you thought
I'm tired of tone deaf studios not realizing the potential in their product and being surprised EVERY time an indie with an unknown cast or a foreign film makes an impact. Do they even watch these films? This happens because studios are run by business men/women who don't know the first thing about art or the creation of it, they know how to crunch numbers and project opening weekends. Sure it's a business but to be "surprised" by the success of something you've acquired because you thought it had potential to be successful tells me that maybe you are in the wrong business. Stop playing it safe (Annabelle,Ouija) and take chances.
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2:27PM on 04/07/2015
It Follows was one of the best horror films in a while, I saw it twice in theaters and appreciated it even more the second time. It was actually creepy, semi-original and yet vintage with a great cast and one of the greatest horror soundtracks in quite a while. I'm glad a horror film this good is doing so well in theaters. I don't know why people are reacting so negatively to this article, but then again people have to be major downers whenever the majority of horror fans like a new movie.
It Follows was one of the best horror films in a while, I saw it twice in theaters and appreciated it even more the second time. It was actually creepy, semi-original and yet vintage with a great cast and one of the greatest horror soundtracks in quite a while. I'm glad a horror film this good is doing so well in theaters. I don't know why people are reacting so negatively to this article, but then again people have to be major downers whenever the majority of horror fans like a new movie. I really hope this does pave the way for more well made indie horror films to get more attention, that would be great for the genre. Some of us still like getting out of the house and sitting in a large dark room with a group of friends or a date and watching something new. This is exactly what the genre needs.
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12:36PM on 04/07/2015
Call me crazy but I really thought It Follows was terrible. I also thought The Babadook was Babadookie. Neither film worked for me! But I'm happy we are getting more indie horror features! I consider myself a graduated student of horror, and as a lover of this genre, It Follows and The Babadook are not crowning achievements (as horror). These are crowning achievements on how to generate buzz and make a decent profit on a low budget film though!
Call me crazy but I really thought It Follows was terrible. I also thought The Babadook was Babadookie. Neither film worked for me! But I'm happy we are getting more indie horror features! I consider myself a graduated student of horror, and as a lover of this genre, It Follows and The Babadook are not crowning achievements (as horror). These are crowning achievements on how to generate buzz and make a decent profit on a low budget film though!
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10:33AM on 04/07/2015

Pot Calling The Kettle Black

No offense, but I have written to the editorial staff at this web site with review suggestions at least 5-10 times over the last few months, and have either been ignored or told they had never heard of it. So, as a member of that staff, you would like to see new voices get a chance while your staff continually ignores those voices in favor of mainstream garbage, unless that indie feature is being directed by Arrow himself. I understand that AITH has to cover mainstream films because fans want
No offense, but I have written to the editorial staff at this web site with review suggestions at least 5-10 times over the last few months, and have either been ignored or told they had never heard of it. So, as a member of that staff, you would like to see new voices get a chance while your staff continually ignores those voices in favor of mainstream garbage, unless that indie feature is being directed by Arrow himself. I understand that AITH has to cover mainstream films because fans want to know. However, isn't the whole point of sites like this to cover as wide a spectrum of [link] films as possible? As long as you continue to ignore those true indie films, not Sundance $50 million films disguised as indies, you're just complaining and doing nothing to change the narrative. Case in point: Why has AITH not covered An Act of War on their site? Last week, this film was the second most downloaded film on Pirate Bay, was ranked #2 in Horror on Hulu and #1 in Thriller. It's a great film, and it got zero coverage. Not one article, not one review, nothing. Cover great indie horror films like that, and then you can complain. For those interested, you can see the film's trailer at: [link] And I believe in the video's description is the link to Hulu and other sites carrying the film.
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11:36AM on 04/07/2015
We cover as much as we can, small films and big films. No, we don't get to them all, and that's a shame. Our editors (myself included) only have so much time during the day to post articles, and we often go with our gut in regards to what films receive a post. That doesn't mean a film like An Act of War isn't deserving. If we wrote up every horror movie every day, we'd never sleep. We've been a champion of small indie films for YEARS, so it's simply untrue to say we don't support them.
We cover as much as we can, small films and big films. No, we don't get to them all, and that's a shame. Our editors (myself included) only have so much time during the day to post articles, and we often go with our gut in regards to what films receive a post. That doesn't mean a film like An Act of War isn't deserving. If we wrote up every horror movie every day, we'd never sleep. We've been a champion of small indie films for YEARS, so it's simply untrue to say we don't support them.
9:52AM on 04/07/2015

Success?

How does an industry BUZZ qualify as a success?
"Perhaps studios are afraid to release an unknown director’s feature film because of the distribution cost or what have you."
Or perhaps horror fans have given up on spending $60 on tickets, parking and popcorn and would rather sit in the comfort of their homes and VOD these shitty movies for $7 plus the price of take out?
Maybe its the booze talkin' or maybe you guys should pull your thumbs out of your asses and go back to working on why THE
How does an industry BUZZ qualify as a success?
"Perhaps studios are afraid to release an unknown director’s feature film because of the distribution cost or what have you."
Or perhaps horror fans have given up on spending $60 on tickets, parking and popcorn and would rather sit in the comfort of their homes and VOD these shitty movies for $7 plus the price of take out?
Maybe its the booze talkin' or maybe you guys should pull your thumbs out of your asses and go back to working on why THE VOID is and should be the next big thing in horror?
www.igg.me/at/thevoid
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11:32AM on 04/07/2015
First off, we've covered THE VOID a few times already, thank you very much, and we're rooting for it. [link]

Secondly, it's not just buzz that makes It Follows successful, it's the fact that it went from being a very limited release to placing in the Top Ten box office. It has made $8 million theatrically when all signs pointed to it making a small sum and then heading to VOD. That's what makes it a success.
First off, we've covered THE VOID a few times already, thank you very much, and we're rooting for it. [link]

Secondly, it's not just buzz that makes It Follows successful, it's the fact that it went from being a very limited release to placing in the Top Ten box office. It has made $8 million theatrically when all signs pointed to it making a small sum and then heading to VOD. That's what makes it a success.
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