The film It Follows was a film with an interesting what-if. What if there was a curse that could only be transmitted sexually? That curse being having a monster follow you and attempt to have sex with you and kill you.
Well that was the basic premise of the film It Follows, girl has sex with what she thought was a nice guy turns out that guy just passes the curse onto her. Just the general premise of the film is screaming with symbolism and metaphors about the horrors and powers of the sexual act. First you would have to notice how it can only be transmitted sexually and no other way. So strictly speaking if you were not engaging in sex you were pretty much safe. You can see here how the film depicts sex as something that although contains a lot of power is also something very dangerous if not used or handled properly.
Next thing we would have to tackle about the movie is the importance of the protagonist being female. Since the protagonist was female we get to see how a female sees sex and the sexual act. At first the protagonist, Jay was very hesitant to spread it to anybody else and just actively avoids and runs away from the monster. After some time though she realized the power she had as an attractive woman with regards to sex and began transferring the curse to other people as well to buy her some time. By realizing that she was a woman who needed to have sex with others to spread the curse to, there is a shift. From Jay being the one objectified she becomes the one objectifying, she now views others as objects that she can have sex with to buy herself more time. There is a shift in the gaze, from Jay being a person existing only to be looked at and fantasized by men, her friends included; she uses that gaze to her advantage to pass the same curse onto other people. Instead of being the object of the gaze, Jay realizes her power and now becomes the looker.
Similarly if we use Carroll’s perspective on curiosity a lot can also be gathered. As a horror film, we watched the film It Follows because we are curious. Despite horror films being scary, we still watch them because we are naturally curious and we want to see what happens next. Take the monster that was in the movie that followed them, it was scary initially but as they began to know more about the monster and figured out ways to stop it or slow it down it became less of a monster and more of a challenge they could conquer. Similar with the viewers who might have been initially scared of the monsters but as we were curious and pushed through with watching the movie the more we learned the less afraid we became; the more vulnerable the monster appeared to us.
Overall the monster analogy the movie used would be perfect to describe sex and the coming of age of the adolescent. Sex is something powerful and scary if you don’t know how to use it. But the more you know about it the more powerful it becomes and the more you are in control of that power, the less scary it is. Towards the end of the movie, Jay had mastered that. Jay was in control of her sexuality and knew the power it possessed and how to use that power to her advantage. Throughout the movie as their knowledge of the monster grew Jay’s knowledge of herself and her sexuality also grew.
Don’t get me wrong the film was not without it’s flaws. I found the settings to be rather odd. Like it seemed that some of the writing was rather lazy and they had no reason to scene things in this particular area. Take the pool scene for example it was befuddling why they would choose to trap a monster in that area, it seems like none of the characters really thought things through. Aside from that I found that the movie was too teen or rather something hard to relate with if your past that stage in your life. Aside from that the supporting characters, such as Jay’s friends felt rather neglected. They fell to the typical sidekick archetype with nothing to do or no other goals but to support the main character. Despite these flaws though, I can say that the film used superb and witty parallelisms and symbolisms that gave the film a nice edge and leaves something for the viewers to ponder about.