Thesis: Can Jay accept her fate?
Inciting Incident: Jay is cursed by having sex with Hugh.
Jay’s river side, drinking a few beers with a guy, Hugh, who’s just his age. Grey leather jacket. Ear pierced left. This date has gone a lot better than the last, where pointed out a yellow dressed girl that Jay couldn’t see, and acted strange. In the mist of after sex trickle down, he chloroforms Jay. When she wakes up, she sees a shape-shifting creature, whose gaze has passed from Hugh, to her.
If Hugh wasn’t contaminated with a sexually transmitted demon curse, there wouldn’t be a story. The catalyst is often something that happens to the protagonist, completely out of their control. The consequences behind the sex is something Jay couldn’t predict.
End of Act 1: Jay and her friends decide to defend her house against the creature.
In the cellar of an ice cream store, Jay, her sister, Kelly, and Paul, agree to stand watch with her overnight.
By this point Jay knows the nature of the creature that’s after her. It wants her and it knows her fears. Maybe she got tired of running, or maybe she had faith that her friends could do something. This is the first time we see Jay stand her ground against the curse, and that’s why it’s the threshold.
Midpoint: Jay meets with the boy who gave her the curse.
Jay needs to know more about the curse’s nature. She finds out that Hugh wasn’t really the guy’s name. It’s Jeff, and he’s living with his mother in a good part of town. When they meet he’s wracked with pallor and empty of any insight. Even if the curse doesn’t have its eye on him, he knows it’s not over.
The first half of the second act involves with understanding the beast, along with the search for Jeff. Jay feels like she needs to find him, although it’s only delaying the inevitable, and that empty hope for a promise makes it the midpoint.
Low Point: Greg is killed by the creature.
After an encounter with the creature on the beach, Jay ends up in a car accident, hospitalized. Night falls as the ER shuts its eyes. Greg, the boy that’s been driving the four in his blue 1980 Impala, comes into Jay’s room and they have sex. Tensions ease in the passing days where nothing happens, when it seems like the curse was just a dream. It falls apart when Greg’s house is broken into, and he’s killed by a doppleganger of his mother.
For a moment the creature doesn’t seem to exist. Doesn’t seem to matter. Greg since the start of the film has kept himself in cool posture, hand slouched from the convertible window. Since the start of the film, Jay’s been running. She found it hard to imagine how someone like Greg could get involved in the supernatural eerie. But he does, and when it happens Jay realizes how much of a danger she is to those around her.
Climax: Gazing in the pool of blood, Jay accepts the inevitability of the curse.
The creature absorbs the image of Jay’s father and follows her into a midnight pool. Several plans fail with Jay almost being dragged to the bottom by her ankle. A gunshot impales the creature, only impairing. In order to see what’s left, Jay crawls towards the water and bears witness to an overwhelming void of blood that succumbs her silhouette.
At first it really looked like sex with Paul was the climax. It really did, but I was completely missing the film nuance in It Follows. Blood curling from the bottom of the water is not just a striking image. It consumes what’s left of Jay’s form, the scene right after being her and Paul’s intimate contact. All this time Jay has been running away because she believes that she can run away. It isn’t until her witness at the pool, that she realizes her death is inevitable. The curse is irreconcilable.
With this knowledge she realizes, rightfully so, that it’s too much to bear for one person. So she divides it. Her having sex with Paul isn’t just a passing on. It’s a new pact. This is why when the creature was in pursuit of Jeff, he hid out in a bad part of town, with tin cans strung from the ceiling. He was alone where Jay isn’t, and she’s able to walk down the street, smiling, hand in hand with her new companion.
There’s an ageless era in It Follows with seashell cell kindles and chorded phones. From the start it seems like we’re being presented with something that has more to offer.
It begins with its concept. At first, it seems like It Follows surrounds itself with the tragedy of sexually transmitted diseases, of unexpected consequences. Films that punish teams for sex aren’t new, but it’s apparent that It Follows doesn’t treat sex as just a taboo indulged too early. It views sex in a complicated way. As a pairing, as a separation, as a thing that haunts and at the same time releases. It almost seems like It Follows isn’t even about sex. It’s about death.
With that in mind, the film is not a tragedy, about succumbing to circumstances outside of reach. It’s about accepting a human fallibility. By the end of the film Jay isn’t stricken by her circumstance. She sees them, recognizes the hardship, and finds a companion.