What exactly is “It?” Well, call me immature and tell me to grow up but whenever I hear the word “It” the first thing that comes to my mind is sex or the act itself. Don’t ask me why but that is just the association that I make in my mind. When you ask questions like “Did you do ‘IT’ na?” “When was the last time you did ‘IT?,” or “How often do you do ‘IT?” it automatically makes me think “IT” is sex. So, having this notion in my head while watching the movie “It Follows,” everything in the story pretty much made sense for me and I found to it be more funny that scary. I mean come on now, you can’t make this stuff up, a horror movie about a paranormal entity that walks around trying to kill people based on who they have slept with? That’s pretty awesome if you ask me!
The film really gets you thinking when you really go back and critique the film. It’s the perfect movie for an adolescent growing up in this day in age where sex has become more prevalent in our society. Whether we want to believe it or not, the people around us are having sex. Part of having sex is being responsible for what happens as a result of the deed and having to face the consequences of it. In a sense, “IT” can be seen as a metaphor for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). I actually got a kick out of one of my fellow classmates when they submitted their blog entry entitled “Sexually Transmitted Death.” Shout out to whoever you are cuz that was a pretty creative title right there and I wish I could have came up with something as witty as that. But anyways, I digress.
The “monster” itself is passed along from person to person after they have intimate relations with one another and the only way you can get rid of it is to pass it on to someone else. However, even by passing it on to someone else, it doesn’t mean that you are in the clear from it because even with STDs like crabs, HPV, or HIV/AIDS, we still have to live with them even afterwards. That’s a pretty solid metaphor and really makes you think about having sex and what could happen as a result of it.
Linda William’s article entitled “When the Woman Looks” explains that in the typical horror film, the reason for being for the female character is to exist as the object of the male character’s gaze and in a sense reduces her to something instead of someone. In the film, Jay the main character of the story is reduced to an object by her fling with Hugh. The reason for their intimiate night wasn’t so much that Hugh had genuine feelings for Jay, but more to just use her to get rid of this entity that keeps following him around trying to kill him.
There is this notion in horror films or even in films in general that the woman is just this helpless creature and that was the case in the beginning of the film with Jay. She didn’t really do much in regard to the story line and kind of did not have a backbone. It wasn’t until she had to deal with this “monster” that she had to stand up for herself and do whatever she needed to do to survive, whether it be like stealing a car to get away from the monster or finding some random people partying on a boat to pass the “monster” on to, and even the end where she must come face to face with the monster, who actually even takes the form of her father who we do not see throughout the entire movie except for a family picture in Jay’s home. Throughout the film we see Jay transform and transcend (ohhhh Philo/Theo) herself to become a strong woman, able to have whatever challenges that she is faced with. Jay transcended this notion of the female gaze and we are left to root for her to survive.
If you could take one lesson out of watching this movie its, “be careful about who you sleep with because you never know if they contracted a killer paranormal entity that manifests as people that ‘haunt’ you in your life.” The next person you get intimate with might just end up being your last. #VirginLife
Source: Linda Williams,“When the Woman Looks.” Horror, The Film Reader (Routledge, 2002)