Watch It Follows (2014)
Directed and written by: David Robert Mitchell
Starring by: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi
Genres: Horror | Mystery
- It Follows Plot Summary
It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, and starringMaika Monroe. The plot follows a girl pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter. Filmed in Detroit, Michigan, It Followsdebuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 to critical acclaim. It was purchased by The Weinstein Company’s subsidiary, RADiUS-TWC, for North American distribution. It received a limited releasebeginning March 13, 2015, but after a very successful limited release, the film received a wide release on March 27, 2015.
A girl flees her house in fear and drives to the beach where she calls her father. By morning, she has been brutally murdered.
Jay, a college student, goes to see a film with her boyfriend Hugh. While they are waiting in line, Hugh starts talking about how envious he is of young children and how they have innocent, carefree lives. When they are inside the theater, Hugh spots a young woman at the entrance. He points her out to Jay, but she, however, cannot see her. Suddenly, Hugh starts getting afraid and demands to Jay that they leave the theater. On another date, Hugh and Jay have sex in his car, before he incapacitates her with chloroform. She wakes up tied to a wheelchair and Hugh explains that he has passed her a curse through sex. He informs her that an entity which can only be seen by those with the curse will pursue Jay at walking pace. If it catches her, it will kill her and then go after the person who passed it to her. A naked woman emerges from the nearby woods and approaches them, and Hugh drops Jay off at home.
The next day at school, Jay encounters an old woman in a night gown slowly approaching her and rushes to where her sister, Kelly, works. Jay’s sister and her friends Yara and Paul, who has an obvious crush on Jay, decide to help and spend the night in the same house. Paul investigates a smashed kitchen window but sees no one; Jay sees a half-naked and bloodied woman walking toward her. Jay runs upstairs to the others, who cannot see the entity. When a tall man with gouged-out eyes enters the bedroom, Jay flees the house and rides a bike to a nearby playground, where her friends regroup.
Greg, the neighbor, drives them to Hugh’s house, now abandoned, where they find a high school picture of him. With the help of the high school, they discover that Hugh’s real name is Jeff Redmond and trace him to his mother’s address where he is living. Jeff informs them he got the curse from a one-night stand and reiterates that Jay has to have sex with someone to get rid of it. They drive to Greg’s lakehouse, where Jay learns to fire a gun. The entity, taking multiple guises, eventually catches up and attacks Jay on the lakeshore. She shoots it, only momentarily incapacitating it. Jay flees the house alone in Greg’s car but narrowly avoids hitting a truck and instead crashes into a cornfield. She wakes up in the hospital with a broken arm, surrounded by Paul, Yara, Kelly, and Greg.
In the hospital, Greg sleeps with Jay to pass on the curse, and insists he does not believe in it. Later, Jay sees Greg smash the window to his own house and enter. 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; it jumps on Greg and has sex with him as he dies.
Jay flees by car and spends the night by the beach. On a beach in the morning, Jay sees three young men on a boat. She undresses and walks into the water. Back home, Paul expresses his feelings about Jay sleeping with Greg and not him; offering to have sex with her.
The group plans to kill the entity by luring it into an abandoned swimming pool and dropping electrical devices into the water to electrocute it. On the way to the pool, Jay sees a nude man (“It”) standing on the roof of her house. Jay, waiting in the pool, spots the entity and realizes it has taken the appearance of her father as 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 drags Jay underwater, he shoots it again and Jay escapes. The entity leaves a large cloud of blood but no body is present.
Jay and Paul have sex; afterwards, Paul drives past prostitutes in a seedy part of town. Sometime later, Jay and Paul hold hands and walk down the street while someone follows close behind.
- Maika Monroe as Jay Height
- Keir Gilchrist as Paul
- Olivia Luccardi as Yara
- Lili Sepe as Kelly Height
- Daniel Zovatto as Greg Hannigan
- Jake Weary as Jeff Redmond / Hugh
- Bailey Spry as Annie
- 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
Development and production
This section requires expansion.(April 2015)
Writer and director David Robert Mitchell conceived the film based upon recurring dreams he had in his youth about being followed: “I had it when I was very young, the nightmare. I had it several times and I still remember images from it. 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.” The role that sexual transmission plays came later, from Mitchell wanting something that could transfer between people. 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 decided to make It Follows as his next film instead. While working on the film, 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 that “When you say it out loud, it sounds like the worst thing ever.” 
The film was shot in 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Director David Robert Mitchell used wide-angle lenses when filming to give the film an expansive look, and cited the works of George Romero and John Carpenter as influences on the film’s compositions and visual aesthetic.
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 UK on February 27. It was given a limited release in the US on March 13 and a wide release on March 27 in 1,200 theatres. The film was released along the USA release in a limited screening on 27 March 2015 in Canada over Toronto based International Sales Agent company Mongrel Media.
It Follows has sparked numerous interpretations from film critics in regard to the source of “it” and the film’s symbolism. Director 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.” Some critics have interpreted the film as a parable on AIDS and/or other sexually-transmitted diseases, the sexual revolution, and tapping into “primal anxieties” about intimacy.
Beneath the anxieties about sex (and STDs), the film is also about death, about existential dread in the face of death’s inevitability, and about how we try (and fail) to postpone death through meaningless sex. There are three important quotations in the film that stress the theme of mortality. When Jay is in English class, her teacher is reading from T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and Yara reads two passages on the imminence of death from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.
The film’s backdrop against the derelict rows of Detroit’s foreclosed homes, suggests the film’s supernatural antagonist refers to Marx’s theory of Primitive Accumulation or Harvey’s Accumulation by Dispossession. The wholly white, middle class cast are forced to engage as neo-liberal subjects, choosing to either carry the burden of capital expansion – labouring endlessly to keep one’s head above water – or passing it on – to extract value from the labour of others. To accumulate or disposes, in Marx’s terms.
The score was composed by Rich Vreeland, better known as Disasterpeace. It was released on February 2, 2015 over Editions Milan Music in permission of The Weinstein Company with a digital booklet. The digital version of the album went on sale March 10, 2015.
It Follows opened in limited theaters on March 13, 2015 in the U.S. 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 2015.
The movie 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.
As of April 5, the movie has a domestic gross of $8.9 million and an international gross of $1.6 million for a worldwide total of $10.3 million.
It Follows received critical acclaim, with critics praising the acting, plot, score, and old-fashioned scares. Critics also praised Mitchell’s shift in tone and style, calling it “progressive” and “refreshing” and distant from his earlier works. It currently holds a 96% “Certified Fresh” rating on review aggregator websiteRotten Tomatoes based on 157 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.” On Metacritic, the film has an 83/100 rating based on 37 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”.
Peter Debruge of Variety gave a 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.” 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.” 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.” Ignatiy Vishnevetaky 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.” Mike Pereira of Bloody Disgusting described the film as a “creepy, mesmerizing exercise in minimalist horror”.
- It Follows Full Cast & Crew
David Robert Mitchell
Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)
David Robert Mitchell
Cast (in credits order) complete, awaiting verification
Keir Gilchrist …Paul Carollette Phillips …Woman with Groceries Loren Bass …Annie’s Father Olivia Luccardi …Yara Lili Sepe …Kelly Height Maika Monroe …Jay Height Jake Weary …Hugh / Jeff Daniel Zovatto …Greg Hannigan Charles Gertner …Neighbor Boy Bailey Spry …Annie Debbie Williams …Mrs. Height Ruby Harris …Mrs. Redmond Linda Boston …Teacher Leisa Pulido …Mrs. Hannigan D.J. Oliver …Police Officer Ingrid Mortimer …Old Woman in Pajamas Kourtney Bell …Chatting Girl Alexyss Spradlin …Girl in Kitchen Mike Lanier …Giant Man Claire Sloma …Greg’s Date (Pretty Girl in Car) Scott Norman …Homeless Man Behind Tree Erin Stone …High School Girl in Courtyard Joanna Bronson …Nurse Don Hails …Old Naked Man Ele Bardha …Mr. Height Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Caitlin Burt …Hot Girl (uncredited) Heather Fairbanks …Scrub Nurse (uncredited) Christopher Hohman …Hot Guy (uncredited) Rich Vreeland …High School Announcer (uncredited)
Joshua Astrachan … executive producer Robyn K. Bennett … co-producer Mia Chang … executive producer P. Jennifer Dana … executive producer Frederick W. Green … executive producer Rebecca Green … producer David Kaplan … producer Corey Large … executive producer Alan Pao … executive producer Erik Rommesmo … producer Jeff Schlossman … executive producer Laura D. Smith … producer
Rich Vreeland … (as Disasterpeace)
Film Editing by
Julio Perez IV
Mark Bennett Carrie Ray
Production Design by
Art Direction by
Costume Design by
Kimberly Leitz … (as Kimberly Leitz-McCauley)
Dawn Germanski … hair stylist & makeup artist Lora Gianino … key hair stylist / makeup department head Jess Gillette … assistant hair stylist / assistant makeup artist Robert Kurtzman … special makeup effects producer Tom Luhtala … special makeup effects artist Dawn Mattocks … makeup department head Daniel Ross … personal hair stylist: Maika Monroe Nickolas Szostkowski … assistant makeup artist
Brandon T. Williams … production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jordan Champine … first assistant director Lana Waddell … second assistant director
Geneva Brunetti … set dresser Frank Casaceli … property master Elven Ferreria … swing Patrick Kipper … production assistant Jesse Landenwitch … painter / swing Bryan LeBeuf … swing Michael W. Moran … carpenter Mike Rhadigan … swing Aaron Segel … swing Ryan Spindell … graphics designer Angela Worrel … set dresser
Christian Dwiggins … sound re-recording mixer / supervising sound editor Steven Kowalski … boom operator Clayton Perry … sound mixer Lauren Robinson … sound editor Kathie Talbot … sound designer: trailer
Special Effects by
Krisz Drouillard … special effects makeup
Visual Effects by
Raffaele Apuzzo … visual effects producer May Satsuki Asai … visual effects Gianluca De Pasquale … digital compositor Andrea Marotti … visual effects producer Ed Mendez … on-set visual effects supervisor: DIVE Diego Panadisi … visual effects producer Alessandro Pepe … visual effects technical director Greg Strasz … visual effects supervisor
Ele Bardha … stunt coordinator Dan Lemieux … utility stunts Travis Russell … stunt double: Keir Gilchrist Amber Whelan … stunt double: Maika Monroe
Camera and Electrical Department
Carl Ballou … digital imaging technician Michael J. Conner … rigging key Nick Enright … electrician Ryan Faulkner … grip Josh Ficken … grip Geoff George … director of photography: second unit Kevin D. Hewitt … Steadicam operator Nicholas Huynh … first assistant camera Chris McLeod … electrician Anton Miasnikov … second assistant camera Ryan Joseph Moran … grip Anthony Schrader … key grip Marc-Antoine Serou … gaffer Amy Snell … electrician Greg Wolfe … key grip: second unit
Amy Allen … extras casting assistant Chris Redondo … casting assistant Danielle Sawa … extras casting assistant Gary Sibley … extras casting Michelle White … casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Annie Nalbandian … assistant costume designer Daniel Ross … key costumer
Taylor Mahony … additional colorist J.D. Moore … digital intermediate editor Mark T. Osborne … digital intermediate colorist Sebastian Perez-Burchard … digital intermediate editor
Sara Andrews … assistant production coordinator Nicole Compas … production counsel Ted Demski … location scout Stefani Flack … production assistant Christopher Hohman … key pa / key production assistant Adam Kersh … publicist Kenneth Lesser … production assistant Shayna MacLeod … location manager / location scout Connie Mangilin … payroll accountant Jax Martin … script supervisor Janna Miksis … production counsel Michael W. Moran … production assistant Stephanie Newman-Smith … clearance coordinator Zach Oberdoerster … location assistant Nellie Smydra … production assistant
Katharine Brandes … special thanks George Constas … special thanks Gabriel Geer … special thanks Eddie Rubin … special thanks Nickola Shreli … special thanks
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