a sleepy and intoxicating horror film, It Follows lures us into its inter-dimensional world and forces us to surrender to the unknown.
*basic plot shared, but no spoilers*
It Follows is a horror movie in which a haunting (where a creature slowly approaches its victims) is seemingly "transmitted" from person to person by sexual contact. the most obvious reading of It Follows is that it's an allegory for STDs. i argue that there is more to this inter-dimensional dystopian film than commentary on physical sexual health. others have proposed that the "It" that stalks those "infected" is actually a representation for death. in other words, no matter what, death follows... death is inevitable, inescapable, and final. moreover, it can be a haunting and fearsome burden for some. although that may be a valid reading of part of the story, i fail to see how it accounts for the many references to sexual transference.
once our main heroine/potential final girl, Jay (Maika Monroe), has sex for what seems to be the first time, this unexplainable entity of death, perhaps Death itself, is passed on to her and haunts her. the 'rule' governing this horror film seems to be that "It" will go after the last person in the list when passed on, but if the last person in the list gets killed by It, the force will move backwards in the line of the diseased, so no one who's been infected is ever truly safe.
in the spiritual community, it is believed that dark entities and (emotional) "demons" can be transmitted sexually just as physical diseases can. heavy emotions, traumas, past lovers... the energy remains in our auras, our wombs, our root & sacral chakras, until we intentionally clear them. admittedly, it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort to perform this cleansing. if we do not take the time and make the effort to clear ourselves, we can pass these on to others as well, even our children. if we have many different partners, our auras and wombs, even our souls, can become even more fogged, heavier, and darker from our partners. we are likely to lose ourselves in the process unless we work to heal.
sex and sexuality is not something to be taken lightly. it is our power and creativity source. it is a deep connection and merging of souls, whether that's our intention or not. ties are created through this act. if we are careless with who we share that part of ourselves with, we are ultimately expressing a lack of self love and lack of boundaries. lack of boundaries create holes in the aura, leaving us more susceptible to lower vibrational energies and entities. even people who mean well can be 'demonic,' for lack of a better word, to our being. toxic.
in the light of new age feminism, we praise women specifically for taking charge of their bodies, exercising sexual autonomy and freedom. while we personally should not judge others for their sexual choices as long as they are safe, i have recently seen more people (of all genders and sexualities) choosing periods of celibacy and setting higher standards for a sexual partner. people are more and more choosing partners who are mutually choosing them. most importantly, people are increasingly choosing themselves and becoming sovereign people who take care of themselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually. the bar is slowly being raised in our culture, and casual sex seems to be on the decline, if that's possible.
in my reading, It Follows is a potent commentary on the laziness of our self-care, our lack of boundaries, and our potentially terrible and messy sexual decisions. these dark entities and emotional/spiritual/sexual ties will linger and hinder us from growth and emotional freedom. once we begin to be in physical relationships, if we don't maintenance ourselves, if we are careless with who we share our bodies with, these 'Its' will stick with us until we are 'killed' by them.
the film itself:
the soundtrack is solid; it is a clear homage to the great John Carpenter's Halloween, a horror classic. the sleepy nature of the film is complemented by visually beautiful long takes. the cinematography is Sofia Coppola-esque with Stranger Things vibes. the film seems to be set in the 70s or 80s, but has one piece of unique technology that i'm convinced was thrown in just for fun.
the reason i know, for me, that It Follows is a fantastic film, is because of it's mystifying unexplainable elements and how it stuck with me post-watch. i wasn't particularly 'scared' while watching, although it certainly has some creepy and suspenseful moments. it was haunting because to an extent it feels incredibly real. perhaps because we all engage with people sexually, and if you're a spiritual person you know what that darkness can feel like, but also because they really draw you into this dystopia.
it infiltrated my mind, it made me think, it left me asking for more... and that to me, makes a great film, regardless of genre.
of course, the internet has no final explanation for It Follows and neither do i. this was just my for-fun exploration of the potential underlying possibilities. it'd be nice to read the intention of the filmmaker (writer and director David Robert Mitchell), but maybe that would take us out of the dreamy and terrifying world he has created for us. knowing too much about the creator's intention might ruin what's truly scary about this film. regardless, i encourage you to watch it and see what it means for you. since the director doesn't explain it, perhaps that's his goal... to make us think, to get in our heads, to make us realize that we all have an It that follows us... no matter the form it may take.
Creatress-in-Chief of Pussy Magic, Samantha is a published poet, author, and editor from the Bay Area with immense passion for traveling and positively changing the lives of women through holistic healing and honoring our sacred selves: mind, body, and spirit. Find more info and her writing here.