“Redemption is always something that comes up, and I never understand that — why we need to find redemption or have redemption in books or movies.”
Its blend of superpowered silliness and reflexive cultural commentary with a sincere emotional core is nearly Whedon-esque. And no, that’s not a bad thing at all.
Overall, the show remains a fairly entertaining hour, with a refreshing take on femininity and power. In 2015, a superhero show with a likeable female lead and assorted other strong women characters and a little girl who loves her pet snake should not really be groundbreaking, but the sad fact is, it is, and while it has its flaws, I’m still grateful that it exists.
So instead of being a little irritated by the way the show constantly winks at the audience in signaling its mildly feminist and corrective agenda, I begin to see that aspect of it, not as a wink at me and other fair-minded folks, and not as pandering, but as a “nanny-nanny boo-boo” at anyone small-minded and hateful enough to be put out because there’s a superhero show on TV that is actually pro-woman and pro-girl and wears that on its sleeve.
‘Crimson Peak’s connection to the “women’s pictures” of the ’40s and ’50s, and particularly Hitchcock’s ‘Rebecca,’ is instructive in reading it as a feminist film. Del Toro takes the tropes of a goodhearted, innocent protagonist, an oily older suitor, and a dangerous female rival whose hostility to the heroine is in part motivated by an “inappropriate” sexual desire, and recontextualizes them.
I mean, if I want to see an obscenely wealthy, morally repugnant real estate magnate battling mindless zombies, I’ll just watch the Republican presidential debates again.
There’s only one more episode left this season, and the ratings are dropping, maybe because people like their zombie shows about bad parents to have more zombies in them, and less teen angst. Season Two is going to be 15 episodes, so they’ll have to come up with a lot more story, or take another six scripts and stretch them out the way the parent show does.
As with the writers on ‘The Walking Dead,’ these writers haven’t yet proven they have any idea how to write strong roles for women. But if they ever figure it out, they’ve got the right actor for the job.
The audience knows so much more than the characters that at a certain point, it doesn’t work as dramatic irony anymore; it’s just frustrating.
There’s a conservative bent to much horror, but this conflation of real-life police brutality and genuine tragedy with the killing of zombies crosses a line.
This is more than just a “companion series” to ‘The Walking Dead’; it’s a second chance.
The Future Is Behind You: David Robert Mitchell and Maika Monroe on the Chilling, Thoughtful ‘It Follows’
The fact that ‘It Follows’ is a horror film, and a surprisingly effective one, is almost secondary to the respectful way it develops its characters, particularly its protagonist, Jay, portrayed in a breakout performance by Maika Monroe.
The film is a huge sleeper hit, by low-budget indie standards. This week, it expanded to an astonishing 1,655 theaters nationwide. I spoke with Monroe and Mitchell recently by phone about how the film was made and what makes it so unique.