Revisiting IT Follows (2014), A ‘Timeless’ Horror Movie

Yes, I am well aware that It Follows came out in 2014. And no, this is not my first viewing of the film. However, this isn’t typically a review either, because what’s the point of that 6 years later. This is just… a discussion, probably about one of my most favourite movies till now.

It Follows is a movie by David Robert Mitchell and it is brilliant. Yeah sure, on first viewing you might not be able to point out the disparities and extremely interesting bits of information that might keep you up at night (much like me). However, the greater the number of times you watch the movie, the more things you get to unearth.

One of my favourite shots (this sentence might be repeated)

Okay so jumping right into it, the first scene is a brilliant 360-degree shot following Annie who seems extremely flustered. She is also in very high heels and wearing what looks like silk short-shorts and a cami (do not blast me if I’m wrong here). The weather seems to be… late summer / early fall? (judging by what she is wearing and the trees and lawns). She is clearly running from something, but isn’t this a really bad getup if you are actually running from someone/something? Also, there’s this woman who is unloading groceries from her car, she asks a clearly distressed girl if something is wrong, who replies no, and she just goes on with her work! Additionally, her father is also pretty nonchalant. He asks her what is wrong, but when Annie runs out of the house and drives off in her car, we don’t see him pursue her, or come out to even look! He does, however, call her. And… then she is dead in a very grotesque manner. :3

I want a clam phone

In the next scene, we are introduced to Jay, our protagonist. She is swimming in an outdoor pool (which affirms that it actually might be late summer / early fall) and then we are introduced to Kelly, her sister, Paul and Yara. We also get to know that Jay will be going on a date with someone later in the evening. But wait, hold on here. There’s also a woman in the background whose face we cannot see, but who seems to be older. And is she day-drinking? Seems so, because there’s a wine glass just in front of her. There’s also something even more interesting in this scene. We see Yara’s clamshell e-reader/phone. Did you see the TV? It definitely seemed like it was from the 60s or 70s. But… that e-reader, that is definitely not from that era. Hell, we still don’t have it (also, can I please have it? :/). But seriously, we never get to pinpoint as to when this movie is based in.

Jeff sees a ghost

Cut to next scene, Jay and Jeff are out on a date… and everyone is wearing coats. And heavy coats at that, mind you. Wait, Jay was just swimming outside (and no, I refuse to believe that that pool was heated) and now she’s wearing a coat? What season is this exactly??? The two start playing a game and before long we realise that Jeff has probably seen someone that no one else can see. That spooks him and they immediately leave – although we are in the dark about what spooked him.

Jeff, you a-hole

Jeff and Jay go out on another date and what starts off as a romantic evening beside some river moves to Jeff’s car where the pair have sex. All seems well and good until he pulls a complete 180 and knocks Jay out with chloroform (I guess?). Jay next wakes up bound to a fricking wheelchair in the middle of an abandoned parking lot. Right about now, all my rape sirens go off and I think damn he’s gonna murder her / sell her / sell her organs (on first viewing, of course). He, however, gives her a crash course on It, the entity who will be following her from now on in order to kill her. We never know why (It probably hates sex). Just that It has a physical body and moves very slowly, but is definitely not dumb. That boy then proceeds to throw her out of the car in front of her house, bound, half-naked and fully traumatised. The police are called but it is very apparent that Jay is shocked to her core.

There is an interesting scene here as well. When talking to Greg’s mom (they’re neighbours) Jay’s mother is seen pouring liquor into her coffee mug – she’s day drinking, again. Greg’s mom even mentions to Greg that Jay’s family is such a mess. We don’t get an explanation about why though.

Blink and It’s here

Now starts Jay’s quest to rid herself of the demon (?). It, however, cannot walk through walls. It thus has to break Jay’s window to get in and has to wait for Kelly to open the door for Yara to get into Jay’s room. Additionally, It also cannot physically move anyone who has not been affected by the curse. This, actually, is also apparent from Jeff’s home whose doors and windows are lined with bottles and whatnot. They were not for show, they were there so that he got to know if and when It came inside his house.

Also, what is it with so many phones with cords? There is not one cordless phone to be seen in this movie, except for Yara’s shell phone from the future.

There is another very interesting scene after this. When Jay and Paul are looking through Jeff’s porn magazines in his house, they come across a picture. Remember Annie from the first scene? Yep, that’s her. And chances are, she spread It to Jeff. Or was it the other way around?

Next, we have another 360-degree shot at Jeff’s high school. Here, you think that something frightening will happen when the camera moves across the window, because damn that atmospheric music, but nope. The dread, however, is palpable.

It is here that the group realises that something actually is horribly wrong when, for the first time, they see an invisible forcing holding Jay’s hair. I think that kind of proves the fact that It has a physical form and isn’t a spirit or ghost. It also attacks Paul and knocks him out. The rules are everywhere and that probably adds to the horror of this movie.

Also, let me just quickly mention here, what is up with all the elders in this town? They are either not there at all or are so nonchalant that it seems like they don’t care about what happens to their children.

So next up, when Jay passes It on to Greg, we think that they’re all gonna be saved because he comes off as someone who can… well, let’s just say, who might be promiscuous. But that boy apparently has no game and dies in the next 5 minutes. That demon (?) definitely sucked the life outta him (pun intended).

Let’s talk about what Jay sees on top of her house before the last pool scene. If you’re wondering who that butt-naked man was and why Jay wouldn’t tell Kelly his identity – that was their father. Okay so, remember that time when Jay was getting ready to meet Jeff on the movie date? There was a picture stuck to her mirror of her with a man. And that is definitely her father. We moreover see his photo a couple of more times in different frames across the house. However, the weirdest thing is, we never see him, not even once. Now, this is my opinion, but I feel her father killed himself, and that’s why her mother drinks so much. She probably hasn’t gotten over it.

Questions and answers

A major question in this movie that comes to my mind is, did Jay actually have sex with those guys in the yacht? My answer would be yes. After she comes back home, she says that she bought herself some time. She also adds that It will catch up sooner or later. So she definitely did sleep with them. However, I think she cried because she realised that she had passed It on to innocent people and had definitely destined them to die.

All’s well that ends on a dubious note

In the end, we don’t know if It died in the pool. Can you kill an entity? I mean, Jay shot It before as well, that didn’t work out for her. Thus the end left us confused af. Do they get rid of it? Does Paul sleep with a prostitute after sleeping with Jay to keep the chain going and take one for the team? The last scene, where Jay and Paul walk down the road, hand-in-hand, with a person following them not too far away is where the genius of this movie lies.

In the end… can I just have that clam phone, please?

It Follows is on Amazon Prime.

Archi Sengupta
Horror Movies + Cats > People

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