Watching IT FOLLOWS is even better the second time. I picked up on a lot of deep stuff this time around. It's still fun trying to figure out the horror film logic of how “it” follows you and how to stop/kill it. This alone can spark interesting conversations with people who have seen the film. But as I found out during my second viewing, the film really isn't about the STD curse, or whatever you wanna call “it”.
No, the film is about the fear of growing old. This isn't some big secret, the clues are all right there. I just think I picked up on it the way that I did was because at this current phase of my life I hate the idea of growing old. Or worse yet, I have a fear of it.
For nineteen-year old Jay, fall should be about school, boys, and hanging out with her friends. But after having a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she seems plagued by an unknown supernatural force. Here are the rules. In order to break the curse / prevent it from following you, you have to sleep with someone. But if they die, then you're haunted again. To stay alive it's simple math, but basically you're screwed.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, that sounds stupid and doesn't seem scary at all. Well, you're right. It is kinda stupid. But the film works, like gangbusters it works. A large part of that is due to how the film is photographed. The film is beautiful to look at, in an 80's horror movie sort of way. But the terror of IT FOLLOWS is the musical score. Trust me. You'll be watching this movie with hands over your ears. My first impression of IT FOLLOWS after seeing it was that the film felt like a Wes Craven movie directed by John Carpenter.
So like I mentioned earlier, the first time I watched IT FOLLOWS, I became so wrapped up in the STD metaphor that the fear of getting older angle never hit me. What a great testament to the film! A genre film no less. Not to give too much away but here are some of my favorite scenes. The moment before Jay's date/boyfriend ties her up so that “it” can get her, she is talking about how when we are young all kids ever talk or dream about is being a “grown-up” doing grown up things. But of course when we get older, all we talk about is how easy life was when you are younger.
And the ending, I love the ending! Of course I'm not going to give it away, I just think it signifies love. That love conquers all.
IT FOLLOWS will probably be the most personal film I will see this year. I related to the themes of running away from adulthood. And I find myself (and a lot of people in this day and age) drowning out my fear of getting older by regressing toward the comfort of nostalgia and my childhood.
I will always love nostalgia, it's just who I am. But this film woke me up. Living too much in the past can be poison. This also has led me to start doing more writing and less watching. Which is awesome.
I cannot recommend this movie strong enough! I predict it'll be streaming on Netflix before the year is up. But don't wait that long, rent this movie tonight! Especially if you love horror movies.