10 Fascinating Facts About It Follows

RADiUS/TWC
RADiUS/TWC

After capturing the coming-of-age genre with cringe-worthy accuracy in 2010's The Myth of the American Sleepover, writer/director David Robert Mitchell turned his low-budget sights on a horror film that would go on to make all of us fear sex, lakes, and literally every person walking toward us.

It Follows was a terrifying tone poem that spoke to youthful sexuality by focusing on a young woman named Jay Height (played by Maika Monroe) who contracts a deliberately-paced supernatural murder monster that relentlessly targets you until 1) you’re dead or 2) you’ve passed the curse along by having sex with someone. In more good news, if the person you had sex with gets killed, the murder monster resumes searching for you. And it could look like anyone. Even your best friend. Or you.

Mitchell blended old favorites and originality to invent a monster worthy of haunting our every waking moment. Here are some facts about the film that will follow you wherever you go.

1. ITS TIME PERIOD DOESN’T FEEL REAL.

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David Robert Mitchell, production designer Michael Perry, and costume designer Kimberly Leitz coordinated to throw us off-balance without us even realizing it. Almost none of the young characters use cell phones, but they exist—and Yara (Olivia Luccardi) has that clamshell e-reader. The vintage cars all look brand-new, but people also have cars from the 2010s. It’s presumably modern day, but all the TVs are from the 1980s, and all the movies the kids watch are classics. Characters also wear bathing suits or heavy winter coats on the same day without appearing too hot or cold. Essentially the movie takes place during a stretch of impossible weather during an unreal era, making it impossible for you to find your footing.

2. IT’S BASED ON A DREAM.

As a child, Mitchell regularly dreamed of a malevolent being taking the form of different people to slowly menace him. “From what I understand, it’s an anxiety dream,” he said. “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.” He also notes that horror films like Night of the Living Dead (which he saw as a young man) may have informed it. He conceived the sexual component as an adult, and the concept for It Follows was born.

3. CHARACTER NAMES ALLUDE TO CLASSIC HORROR FILMS.

The first girl to be killed in the film is Annie (Bailey Spry), who shares a name with Annie Brackett (Nancy Kyes), the first girl killed in John Carpenter's Halloween. Plus, Jay’s full name is Jamie—a nod to scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, who (just like Jay) has a sister named Kelly.

4. THE PLAN TO KILL THE MONSTER IS TERRIBLE. BUT THAT'S ON PURPOSE.

Jay and her friends plot to electrocute the monster in a pool even though they don’t know anything about what might weaken it, and they were warned directly that it’s not dumb. “It’s the stupidest plan ever!” Mitchell told Vulture. “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?”

Mitchell specifically wanted to avoid the trope of the perfect nugget of information about the monster’s vulnerabilities magically dropping into the gang’s lap.

5. THE COLOR RED FORESHADOWS THE MONSTER'S ARRIVAL.

In horror movies, the color red is regularly used to signal that blood is on the way, and It Follows sticks to that tradition with gusto. Pay attention to red clothing, red lighting, that damned red ball jump scare, red cars, red nails, and other red objects to let you know that danger is getting closer.

6. BODIES OF WATER ARE ALSO MADE TO FEEL DANGEROUS.

The old gag about describing horror movies is that they do for X (balloons, dogs, taco stands) what Jaws did for going in the water, but It Follows does for water what Jaws did for going in the water. Jay is safe at the beginning of the movie in her backyard pool, but all the other, larger bodies of water only promise death (and the kids keep running to them). Annie gets killed at the lake; the monster almost kills Jay during their lakeside retreat and in the giant community swimming pool; and Jay experiences an existential crisis when she considers having sex with three men in a boat to pass the curse onto them.

7. ONE OF THE MONSTERS IS JAY AND KELLY’S FATHER.

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The monster takes on the form of a middle-aged man when Jay and Kelly try to kill it at the pool. In an incredibly subtle moment, Jay refuses to tell Kelly (Lili Sepe) what the monster has taken the form of, but if you rewatch the movie, you’ll see that the middle-aged man is their father, who is featured in several family photographs in the house but completely absent from their lives. Some viewers theorize he killed himself, and others see his throwing appliances at her in the pool as a nod toward possible abuse, but Jay is definitely protecting her sister.

8. JAY AND KELLY’S MOM IS PROBABLY AN ALCOHOLIC.

Adults are of zero help throughout the movie, particularly the girls’ mother (Debbie Williams), who appears obscured in almost every shot she’s in but quite clearly drinks in all her scenes. That includes booze in her morning coffee, day drinking, glasses of wine, and remarks from her children that she won’t care about what’s going on. It’s another nuanced, open-ended element that elevates the film—without spelling it out, we know that something terrible has happened to this family long before the sex monster showed up.

9. QUENTIN TARANTINO WOULD HAVE HAD SEX WITH PAUL.

The Kill Bill director loved It Follows but had issues with how it played fast and loose with the mythology. He also, ersh, couldn’t understand why Jay wouldn’t have sex with Paul (Keir Gilchrist) when he offered. “It’s not like she’d have been tricking him into it,” Tarantino said. “It’s what I would have done."

10. IT’S GOT A SURPRISINGLY LOW BODY COUNT.

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In the course of It Follows's 100-minute running time, only two people die—including a young woman whose leg is bent back into places it shouldn’t bend—so the movie clearly focused on intensity over quantity. There’s a third death if you consider the monster bleeding rivers into the community pool, but, let’s be real, there’s no way it’s gone for good. Now where’s our sequel?

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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The Office Will Debut Unreleased Footage When It Premieres on Peacock

Get ready for never-before-seen footage of The Office.
Get ready for never-before-seen footage of The Office.
NBC

Even though you would expect The Office to already be on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service, the comedy remains on Netflix … for now. But once it leaves Netflix at the end of the year, we’ll all be getting a major treat when the episodes re-debut on NBC's new platform complete with unreleased footage.

In case you’re unaware, The Office chronicles the lives of a group of unique paper company workers. The series ran for nine seasons from 2005 to 2013, and featured an ensemble cast helmed by Steve Carell and included the likes of Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Creed Bratton, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, and Ellie Kemper. Many of the actors on The Office have gone on to have impressive careers in the film and TV industry.

The Office unreleased footage

One awesome bonus of The Office leaving Netflix for Peacock is that the streaming service will also be making unreleased footage available for subscribers. While speaking to Bloomberg, Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises chairman Matt Strauss revealed, “We will be reintroducing The Office in a more complete way, incorporating elements that were not part of the original broadcast.”

Getting to see unreleased footage from the Dunder Mifflin gang will definitely be incentive enough to sign up for Peacock when the show moves there in 2021.

When is The Office coming to Peacock?

While The Office is currently on Netflix, it won’t be for long—those streaming rights will expire by the end of the year. Fans will be able to see all of their favorite characters on Peacock in January of 2021, and Peacock will retain the streaming rights to the series for the next five years.