We’ve all been hearing about David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows for months, but this weekend offered the first opportunity for many to finally see what all the buzz is about. Hopefully you’ve taken that opportunity, but if not, don’t worry. I’ve avoided including anything too spoilery in this list, though I’d still say this is all more interesting if you’ve actually seen the film.
1. The theatre from the film is the same one where The Evil Dead had its original premiere.
The theatre featured early in It Follows is the Redford Theatre in Detroit, which is where Sam Raimi premiered The Evil Dead in 1981. Bruce Campbell had apparently attended the theatre often as a child. From the Wikipeda article on The Evil Dead:
Raimi opted to have the most theatrical premiere possible, using custom tickets and wind tracks set in the theater, and ordering ambulances outside the theater to build atmosphere. The premiere setup was inspired by horror director William Castle, who would often attempt to scare his audiences by using gimmicks. Local turnout for the premiere exceeded the cast’s expectations, with a thousand patrons showing up. The audiences responded enthusiastically to the premiere, which led to Raimi’s idea of “touring” the film to build hype.
2. The Villain is known as “The It”.
The villain in It Follows doesn’t really get a name in the movie, but if you wanted to call it something, you could refer to it the same way Mitchell and the crew did while filming.
Asked in an interview with Movies.com about whether it had a nickname in the vein of Halloween’s The Shape, Mitchell said, “We just called it The It when we were labeling it. So we’d just talk about, say, The It on the roof. And then I’d just describe the appearance, whatever it was.”
I’ve also seen it referred to as “the follower,” but here you have it straight from the writer/director.
3. One of the most important parts of It Follows was only completed at the last minute.
The score for the film, which is one of its most crucial components, wasn’t even ready until 3 weeks before the film debuted at Cannes. In that same interview, Mitchell said:
“Up until that point, we’d temp’ed with a certain amount of Disasterpeace’s cues in certain parts, but I used some Carpenter, some Cage. I can’t remember everything, but it was temped with a ton of different composers….It was never about mimicking a Carpenter movie. There’s certainly homage to that, and I’m not denying that, but it was never about just mimicking what Carpenter would do.
4. The rules laid out in the film may not be the actual rules.
The rules about how The It operates, which are set up in the film, may or may not be completely accurate. As Mitchell explains in an interview with Yahoo Movies, “The only rules that we hear are rules that we’re told by a character within the film, who has access to limited information. If you look at the film enough, you can start to understand how he may be figuring these things out and how he has gotten the information that he has. But you also have to understand that they’re not rules on a stone’s tablet; they’re a character’s best guess about what’s happening to them. So, you know, they seem mostly right. But for me, that’s kind of fun, in that there might be some gaps in information, some things that he doesn’t understand and neither do we.”
That’s good to know in case we get a sequel, which based on what Mitchell told Vulture isn’t out of the question:
“I have a lot of different kinds of projects in many different genres, so I don’t know that a sequel would be the next thing that I would do, but I’m certainly open to it. I just kinda want to see how things play out. But I do want to say that when I wrote this, I had some bigger setpieces, a few things that I sort of simplified, and some stuff that we chose to cut out because of the budget and time, so there’s all kinds of fun things that could be done with this concept and story.”
5. The shell phone is not a real thing.
According to Mitchell (in the Yahoo interview), the sea shell smartphone/e-reader was made up for the movie to keep things feeling “like a dream or something outside of time”. In another interview with A.V. Club, he mentioned that having specific devices can make a film feel dated, so they made one up. As he notes, someone will probably make it now. Apparently people keep asking him where they can get one.
Have you seen the film yet? Let us know what you thought.