The Ending of The Horror Film IT FOLLOWS Explained by Director
I loved the concept behind the horror movie It Follows, but I wasn’t a big fan of how it was executed — especially the second half of the movie. After it started blowing up in theaters, and more and more people were talking about how much they loved it, I decided to go and see it again to see if I missed something the first time around: Nope. I still feel the same way about it. Regardless of what I think, though, the indie film is a hit with audiences and the buzz is growing.
For those of you who have seen the film and want an explanation of the ending of the movie, the director, David Robert Mitchell, offers it up in an interview with Vulture. If you haven’t seen the film, then you should know that there are SPOILERS ahead.
As I explained in my full Sundance Film Festival review, the movie "literally revolves around a sexually transmitted demon that follows the people who it becomes attached to, and its purpose is to kill them. The demon can look like anyone, and it just slowly walks and follows the person it's attached to." The climax of the film includes Jay (Maika Monroe) and the other characters banding together to attempt to rid herself from the demonic curse that haunts her. They come up with a ridiculously stupid plan to electrocute the demon in a local pool. The director even admits that it’s a stupid plan in his explanation of the ending:
“It’s the stupidest plan ever! It’s a kid-movie plan, it’s something that Scooby-Doo and the gang might think of, and that was sort of the point. What would you do if you were confronted by a monster and found yourself trapped within a nightmare? Ultimately, you have to resort to some way of fighting it that’s accessible to you in the physical world, and that’s not really going to cut it. We kind of avoid any kind of traditional setup for that sequence, because in more traditional horror films, there might be a clue that would lead them to figure out a way to destroy this monster. I intentionally avoided placing those. Instead, they do their best to accomplish something, and we witness its failure. It’s probably a very non-conventional way of approaching the third-act confrontation, but we thought it was a fun way to deal with it.”
In the final shot of the film, Jay and Paul are walking down the street holding hands, with someone walking behind them, that we all assume is the demon. In regards to that scene, the director says,
“We had a couple variations on it — I think we had some where he was really far back, and then some where no one would ever miss him — but we settled on the one where he’s there, but not too close. It allows people to make up their own mind of what it means.”
Meh. It’s pretty obvious what it means. They'll just continue to pass the demon back and fourth to each other from having sex, and deal with evading it together. That is, until the day they get in a major fight with each other, and one of them just decides to let the demon kill the other.