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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Jay (Maika) has sex with her boyfriend Hugh (Weary) in his car one night and a short while later, in a drastic shift of mood, Hugh tells Jay that he has now 'passed on' an entity to her. 'It' will follow her at walking pace and when it catches up, will slaughter Jay - unless she in turn has sex with someone else and passes on the cursed entity, just like he did.
There's something unsettling about this film from the opening scene itself. The premise, as described above, reads plainly enough on paper. Jay's sister Kelly (Sepe) and friends Paul (Gilchrist), Yara (Luccardi) and Greg (Zovatto) empathize and try to help her.
The entity follows Jay with a chilling relentlessness - emerging from a crowd as an old lady, from a forest at night as a naked woman or in a tiny bedroom as an eight foot tall man with eyes gouged out. No one else can see 'it'.
Mitchell's direction creates a sense of unknowing; that something is happening off-camera and we can only guess. In one scene, the camera pans through 720 degrees, where we at one point see 'it' approaching a building Jay is in. When the camera returns to that spot, it's nowhere to be seen. Stuff like this plays on your mind later on. Did it enter that building?
The entity itself inspires dread. Not only can it assume the form of any person - a parent included - but you wonder what the hell it really is? Scarier still is its Terminator-like persistence. Jay realizes that even if she takes time off to rest or sleep, it only gives the entity more time to reach her. Jay might 'transfer' it to someone else like a demonic STD, but when those people are killed by the entity, it will come back to her again - a claustrophobic loop of a living nightmare.
Mitchell's deliberately disjointed narrative and ambiguous timelines add to the surrealism. There's a chance you might, at night, catch yourself looking over your shoulder more than once after watching this.
The film is meant to resemble a nightmare, where non-linear and sometimes unexplained events occur.
The passages that Kelly reads from in her e-book is from Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.
Maika Monroe has also acted in The Guest and Labor Day.
The film takes more than a few cues from more than a few cues from John Carpenter’s Halloween.
The film was made on a small budget of just two million dollars.
The Evil Dead (1981) premiered at the theatre featured at the beginning of the film. It is the Redford Theatre, a historic Japanese style theatre with a fully functioning Wurlitzer organ.
The house at the beginning of the film has the same street number of Freddy Krueger's house in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Jay is the short form for Jamie, which is said to be a reference to scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Interestingly, in 'It Follows', Jay has a younger sister named Kelly and in real-life too Jamie Lee Curtis has a younger sister who is called Kelly.
The colour of the girl’s shoes, who is murdered in the beginning, are different when she leaves the house and after she is killed.
In the beginning of the movie, we see an unnamed girl running away from her house in abject terror. She is in tears and we then see her on a beach, tearfully telling her parents that she loves them. In the next scene the next morning, we see her brutally murdered on the beach. Her limbs are twisted at an abnormal angle. It is pure massacre.
In Detroit Michigan, where the movie is set, we are introduced to the principal character Jay, a pretty college student who is dating Hugh. They go for a movie in what looks like a pretty, old theatre. While waiting in line for her ticket, they play a game, of picking random people and saying why they would like to switch places with that person. Jay picks another teenage girl who is canoodling with her guy, while Hugh chooses a small kid, saying how carefree that kid seems, Hugh then points out a woman standing at the entrance - a girl in a yellow dress. Jay cannot see her. Hugh is suddenly alarmed, grabs her hand and they exit the theatre. After they drive far away, we see them in a diner having a chat.
When they go on another date, Hugh and Jay have sex in his car. While Jay is lying down in the back seat, Hugh applies chloroform to her and then ties her up to a wheelchair. He then explains that by having sex, he has passed on a curse to her in the form of an entity which can only be seen by one who is accursed. The only way to get that curse passed on further, is for her to have sex with someone else. It can assume appearance of any person. He shows Jay that he is not joking when he pushes her wheelchair to the edge of the dilapidated open building they are in and shows her a naked woman walking toward them from the forest at night. Hugh drives Jay home and flees, drops her off in the front lawn of her house where her sister and friends are playing cards and call the cops.
The police are unable to find Hugh [they think he drugged and raped her] neither can they find the naked woman. It is revealed that 'Hugh' is a false identity. Now in high school, Jay looks out the window and notices an old woman wearing a hospital gown walking towards her, invisible to others. Jay is unnerved and exits the classroom in a hurry. I the corridor, she turns to see the woman walking towards her. Jay goes back and meets her sister and friends in the ice cream shop they work at. Her sister Kelly and her friends Paul and Yara agree to help and in order to comfort her, they spend the night in the same house.
During the night, while watching television, Paul tells Jay that a kitchen window has been smashed but he cannot find any intruder. Jay of course, knows that he won't be able to see anyone as the entity is only visible to her. She goes out to another room to see a half-naked and bloodied woman with uring streaming down from her soaked underwear, walking toward her. Terrified that the entity is in the confines of her house, she darts upstairs to the others, who cannot see the entity. There's a knocking at the door and Yara comes in., to her short-lived relief. For just behind her, a very tall man with gouged-out eyes enters the bedroom and makes for her. The utterly terrified Jay runs away from the house, gets on a cycle and heads to a park where she sits on a swing. Her friends catch up with her there.
Her neighbor Greg joins them too. The next day, they find out the real identity of 'Hugh' - his real name is Jeff Redmond and his real house bears eerie evidence to how haunted he was by the entity. The windows are covered in newspaper and empty bottles attached to strings are strung near the windows to alert an occupant of anyone enters.
Jeff tells them he received the curse from a one-night stand and repeatedly says that Jay has to pass it on, or it will kill her and come back to him. They then head to Greg's beach house, where Jay learns to fire a six-barrelled pistol. While they're chilling, the entity â taking on the appearances of Yara and that of Jay's boy neighbor â attacks Jay by grabbing her hair from behind. The entity is impervious to bullets. Jay gets in Greg's car and drives away, but crashes into a cornfield, later waking up in the hospital with a broken right forearm.
Greg agrees to sleep with Jay to pass on the curse, and insists he does not believe in it. Days later, Jay sees Greg [the entity disguised as a duplicate Greg] smash the window to his own house and night. She rushes across the road to his house to warn the real Greg after trying to alert him on the telephone. In the house, the entity has taken the form of Greg's mother., who is banging on his door. It lunges at Greg and tears him to pieces.
Jay flees by car and spends the night outdoors, sleeping on the bonnet of her car. The next morning, she walks to a nearby beach and sees three young men on a boat. She strips down to her bra and panties and walks into the water. It is unclear if she backs away or has sex with one of all of them, presumably to pass on the curse. But we later see Jay back at home, sleeping near her bed when Paul comes in. She refuses Paul's offer to sleep with him, knowing full well that Paul loves her.
The group then plan to kill the entity by luring it into an abandoned swimming pool and electrocuting it by plunging various household appliances into pool when it is inside. On the way to the pool, Jay sees the entity in the form of her naked father, standing on the roof of a neighbouring house.
The entity enters the swimming pool room and walks around its perimeter, hurling the appliances at her. Paul fires at it but accidentally wounds Yara, but shoots the entity in the head, causing it to fall into the pool. As it drags Jay underwater, he shoots it again and Jay escapes. The entity leaves a cloud of blood, but no body.
Jay and Paul have sex; afterwards, Paul drives past prostitutes in a seedy part of town. Later, Jay and Paul walk down the street holding hands while in the next frame, we see someone in a coloured jacket following them. It is not clear whether this is the entity after Paul [as Jay had last slept with Paul] or whether it is some ordinary person.