It Follows

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It Follows
Retro Poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Robert Mitchell
Produced by
  • Rebecca Green
  • Laura D. Smith
  • David Robert Mitchell
  • David Kaplan
  • Erik Rommesmo
Written byDavid Robert Mitchell
Starring
Music byDisasterpeace
CinematographyMike Gioulakis
Edited byJulio C. Perez IV
Production
company
  • Northern Lights Films
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Two Flints
Distributed byRADiUS-TWC
Release date
  • May 17, 2014 (2014-05-17) (Cannes)
  • March 13, 2015 (2015-03-13) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$2 million[2]
Box office$23.3 million [3]

It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell and starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.[4] The film follows a teenage girl named Jay, who is pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter.[5]

The film debuted at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and was later purchased by RADiUS-TWC for distribution. After a successful limited release beginning on March 13, 2015, the film had a wide release on March 27, 2015. It received critical acclaim and grossed $23.3 million worldwide.

Plot[edit]

Oakland University student Jay goes on a date with her new boyfriend, Hugh. At the movies, Hugh points out a girl whom Jay says she cannot see. Afraid, he asks that they leave. On another date, Hugh and Jay have sex in his car, but afterwards he incapacitates Jay with chloroform and she wakes up tied to a wheelchair in the Packard Plant, where Hugh explains that she will be pursued by an entity that only they can see, and that it will take the appearance of any person. If it catches Jay, it will kill her and pursue the previous person to have passed it on: Hugh. After they see a naked woman walking toward them, Hugh drives Jay home and flees.

The next day, the police cannot find the naked woman or Hugh, who was living under a false identity. At school, Jay sees an old woman in a hospital gown walking towards her, invisible to others. Jay's sister Kelly and her friends Paul and Yara agree to help and spend the night in the same house. Paul investigates a smashed kitchen window but sees no one; Jay sees a disheveled, urinating, half-naked woman walking toward her, and runs upstairs to the others, who cannot see the entity. When a tall man with seemingly no eyes enters the bedroom, Jay flees the house, meeting again with her friends at a nearby playground.

With the help of their neighbor, Greg, the group discovers Hugh's real name, Jeff Redmond, and trace him to his address. Jeff's mom answers the door, and Jay realizes that the naked woman she had seen coming for her in the Packard Plant was in the form of Mrs. Redmond. Jeff explains that the entity began pursuing him after a one-night stand, and that Jay can pass it to someone else in the same way. Greg drives the group to his family's lake house and teaches Jay to shoot a revolver. The entity arrives in the form of Yara and attacks Jay on the lakefront. She shoots it in the head but it recovers unharmed and attacks Jay again, taking the form of a boy that lives next door to her. Jay flees in Greg's car but crashes into a cornfield, and wakes up in a hospital with a broken arm.

Greg has sex with Jay at the hospital, as he does not believe the entity exists. Days later, Jay sees the entity in the form of Greg walking towards his house. It smashes a window at Greg's house and enters. She tries to warn the real Greg on the telephone but he does not answer. She runs into the house and finds the entity in the form of Greg's half-naked mother knocking on his door before it jumps on Greg. Jay sees the entity grinding on a dead Greg before fleeing by car and spending the night outdoors. On a beach, Jay sees three young men on a boat. She then undresses and walks into the water. Back home, Jay refuses Paul's offer of sex.

The group plans to kill the entity by luring it into a swimming pool and dropping electrical devices into the water. Jay, waiting in the pool, spots the entity and realizes it has taken the appearance of her father. Instead of entering the pool, it throws the devices at her. Firing at an invisible target, Paul accidentally wounds Yara, but shoots the entity in the head, causing it to fall into the pool. As it pulls Jay underwater, Paul shoots it again and Jay escapes. Paul asks Jay if the entity is dead. Jay approaches the pool and sees it filling with blood.

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. A figure walks behind them.

Cast[edit]

  • Maika Monroe as Jaimie "Jay" Height
  • Keir Gilchrist as Paul Bolduan
  • Daniel Zovatto as Greg Hannigan
  • Jake Weary as Hugh / Jeff Redmond
  • Olivia Luccardi as Yara Davis
  • Lili Sepe as Kelly Height
  • Bailey Spry as Annie Marshall
  • Debbie Williams as Mrs. Height
  • Ruby Harris as Mrs. Redmond
  • Leisa Pulido as Mrs. Hannigan
  • Ele Bardha as Mr. Height
  • Ingrid Mortimer as Old Woman in Pajamas
  • Alexyss Spradlin as Girl in Kitchen
  • Mike Lanier as Giant Man
  • Don Hails as Old Naked Man
  • Charles Gertner as Neighbor Boy
  • Erin Stone as Girl in Courtyard
  • Luke Hodgson as Lawson High School Striped Sweater Boy

Development and production[edit]

Writer and director David Robert Mitchell conceived the film based on recurring dreams he had in his youth about being followed: "I didn't use those images for the film, but the basic idea and the feeling I used. From what I understand, it's an anxiety dream. Whatever I was going through at that time, my parents divorced when I was around that age, so I imagine it was something to do with that."[6] The role that sexual transmission plays came later, from Mitchell's desire for something that could transfer between people.[7] Mitchell started writing the film in 2011 while working on a separate film he intended to be his second feature film; however, Mitchell struggled with this would-be second feature and made It Follows as his next film instead.[8] Mitchell realized that the concept he was working on was tough to describe and thus refused to discuss the plot when asked what he was working on, reasoning later, "When you say it out loud, it sounds like the worst thing ever."[7]

The film was shot in 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.[9] Mitchell used wide-angle lenses when filming to give the film an expansive look,[9] and cited the works of George Romero and John Carpenter as influences on the film's compositions and visual aesthetic.[6]

The film's monster, shot composition, and overall aesthetic were influenced by the work of contemporary photographer Gregory Crewdson. Director of photography Mike Gioulakis said: "We're both big fans of the still photographer Gregory Crewdson and David had him in his look book from day one. [Crewdson's] photographs have the same kind of surreal suburban imagery that we wanted for It Follows."[10]

Interpretations[edit]

It Follows has sparked numerous interpretations from film critics in regard to the source of "it" and the film's symbolism.[6] Critics have interpreted the film as a parable about HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections,[11] and the social perceptions thereof; the sexual revolution;[12] and "primal anxieties" about intimacy.[13]

Mitchell stated: "I'm not personally that interested in where 'it' comes from. To me, it's dream logic in the sense that they're in a nightmare, and when you're in a nightmare there's no solving the nightmare. Even if you try to solve it."[6] Mitchell said that while Jay "opens herself up to danger through sex, sex is the one way in which she can free herself from that danger ... We're all here for a limited amount of time, and we can't escape our mortality ... but love and sex are two ways in which we can – at least temporarily – push death away".[11]

Soundtrack[edit]

It Follows (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Released2 February 2015 (2015-02-02)
GenreElectronic
Length44:43
LabelEditions Milan Music
Producer
  • Richard Glasser
  • JC Chamboredon
  • Stefan Karrer
Disasterpeace chronology
The Floor is Jelly
(2014)
It Follows (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(2015)

The score was composed by Rich Vreeland, better known as Disasterpeace.[14][15] It was released on February 2, 2015 over Editions Milan Music with permission of The Weinstein Company with a digital booklet.[16] The digital version of the album went on sale March 10, 2015.

Release[edit]

It Follows premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2014. It was released theatrically in France on February 4, 2015, and in the United Kingdom on February 27. It was given a limited release in the United States on March 13[17] and a wide release on March 27[18] in 1,200 theaters.[19] The film also received a limited release on March 27, 2015, in Canada by Mongrel Media.[20]

Box office[edit]

It Follows opened in limited theaters on March 13, 2015, in the United States and Canada. It earned $163,453 in its opening weekend from four theaters at an average of $40,863 per theater, making it the best limited opening for a film released in the United States and Canada in 2015.[21]

The film made its international debut in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2015, where it earned $573,290 (£371,142) on 190 screens for the #8 position. The following week, the film dropped two spots to #10 with a weekend gross of $346,005 (£229,927) from 240 screens.[citation needed]

The film had a domestic gross of $14.7 million and an international gross of $8.6 million for a worldwide total of $23.3 million.[3]

Critical response[edit]

It Follows received critical acclaim.[22] On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 97% approval rating and a rating average score of 8.1/10, based on 234 reviews. The critical consensus states: "Smart, original, and above all terrifying, It Follows is the rare modern horror film that works on multiple levels – and leaves a lingering sting."[23] On review aggregator website Metacritic, the film has an average rating of 83 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[24] On Rotten Tomatoes' aggregation, it was ranked as the sixth most-praised film of the year.[25]

Peter Debruge of Variety gave an overall positive review, saying: "Starting off strong before losing its way in the end, this stylish, suspenseful chiller should significantly broaden Mitchell's audience without disappointing his early supporters in the slightest."[26] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter said, "Creepy, suspenseful and sustained, this skillfully made lo-fi horror movie plays knowingly with genre tropes and yet never winks at the audience, giving it a refreshing face-value earnestness that makes it all the more gripping."[27] Tim Robey of The Telegraph gave the film five out of five stars and said, "With its marvellously suggestive title and thought-provoking exploration of sex, this indie chiller is a contemporary horror fan's dream come true."[28] Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club said, "Despite all the fun-to-unpack ideas swirling around Mitchell's premise, this is first and foremost a showcase for his considerable talents as a widescreen visual stylist, which are most apparent in the movie's deftly choreographed, virtuoso 360 degree pans."[29] Mike Pereira of Bloody Disgusting described the film as a "creepy, mesmerizing exercise in minimalist horror" and labelled it "a classical horror masterpiece".[30] Michael Nordine of Vice named It Follows as "the best horror film in years",[31] and critic Mark Frauenfelder called it "the best horror film in over a decade".[32]

Possible sequel[edit]

Following the film's success, Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn announced that the studio is looking into a possible sequel.[33] Quinn has expressed the idea of flipping the concept of the first film around, with Maika Monroe's Jay or another protagonist going down the chain to find the origin of "it".[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IT FOLLOWS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Gregory Wakeman (2015). "It Follows Has Some Exciting Ideas For A Sequel". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b "It Follows (2015)". The Numbers. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  4. ^ Kohn, Eric (May 24, 2014). "Cannes Review: 'It Follows' Is a Teen Horror Movie Like You've Never Seen It Before". Indiewire. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Kohn, Eric (May 24, 2014). "Cannes Review: 'It Follows' stars Keir Gilchrist ("The United States of Tara"), Jake Weary ("Chicago Fire") and Maika Monroe". Dread Central. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Rawson-Jones, Ben (2015-03-08). "Exploring the horror of It Follows: David Robert Mitchell interview". Digital Spy (Interview). Interviewed by Mitchell, David Robert. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^ a b Watkins, Gwynne. "The Yahoo Movies Interview: 'It Follows' Director David Robert Mitchell on His Surprise Horror Hit". Yahoo. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  8. ^ Dowd, A.A. "David Robert Mitchell on his striking new horror film, It Follows". The A.V Club. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b Whitaker, Richard (2015-03-26). "It Follows Goes Everywhere". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  10. ^ ""We Didn't Have to Add Too Much Creepiness": It Follows DP Mike Gioulakis | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  11. ^ a b Lyne, Charlie (2015-02-21). "It Follows: 'Love and sex are ways we can push death away'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  12. ^ Olszyk, Nicholas. "Pope Paul VI Make a Horror Film". Catholic World Report. Ignatius Press. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  13. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (2015-02-26). "It Follows review – sexual dread fuels a modern horror classic". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Chris Tilly (February 1, 2015). "Disasterpeace From The 'It Follows' Soundtrack". IGN. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  15. ^ "Rich Vreeland | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  16. ^ Chris Tilly (February 1, 2015). "Disasterpeace The 'It Follows' Soundtrack". IGN. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  17. ^ "It Follows Debuts a New Trailer, Set for March 2015 Release". commingsoon.net. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  18. ^ Steve Barton (March 24, 2015). "'It Follows Opening Wide; See it Friday!". Dread Central. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  19. ^ Brad Miska (March 24, 2015). "'It Follows Press Release!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  20. ^ Parkin, Nigel (March 24, 2015). "'It Follows Canadian release today 27 March!". Fangoria. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  21. ^ Brian Brooks (March 15, 2015). "Audiences Tracking 'It Follows' Closely In 2015's Best Specialty Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  22. ^ Alex Ritman (March 3, 2015). "U.K. Box Office: 'Exotic Marigold' Sequel Topples 'Fifty Shades'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  23. ^ It Follows at Rotten Tomatoes
  24. ^ It Follows at Metacritic
  25. ^ "Best of 2015". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  26. ^ Peter Debruge (May 28, 2014). "Cannes Film Review: 'It Follows'". Variety. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  27. ^ David Rooney (May 17, 2014). "'It Follows': Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  28. ^ Tom Robey (May 18, 2014). "Cannes 2014 - It Follows, review: 'tender, ingenious and scalp-prickingly scary'". The Telegraph. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  29. ^ Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (September 5, 2014). "Toronto 2014, Day One: Judging Robert Downey Jr., catching up with Locarno and Cannes". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  30. ^ Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (September 5, 2014). "Mike Pereira referred to as a creepy, mesmerizing exercise in minimalist horror" when reviewed out of the TIFF". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  31. ^ "'It Follows' Is the Best Horror Film in Years". VICE.
  32. ^ "Why "It Follows" is the best horror movie in over a decade". Boing Boing.
  33. ^ Miska, Brad. "Radius-TWC Wants An "It Follows" Sequel". BloodyDisgusting. Bloody Disgusting LLC. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  34. ^ Sullivan, Kevin. "It Follows sequel could take story in the other direction -- exclusive". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved 8 April 2015.

External links[edit]