Thursday, April 9, 2015

It Follows: Surviving "The It"

This post will contain spoilers.  So, if you haven't seen It Follows, you should probably go see it immediately, then come back for this. 

I've been thinking about this movie non-stop since I've seen it.  One of the ideas I've been kicking around lately has been the best way to get rid of The It.  Paul driving around the ruins of Detroit trolling for cheap hookers seems like a pretty good idea at first blush (plus, his undercover knit cap was pretty killer).  That prostitute will likely have sex with another man within the day, thus getting two people between Paul and The It.
But there are a few problems with this.  For starters, neither the prostitute nor the john know anything about this sinister being stalking them.  You remember how quickly Greg - the Johnny Depp/Skeet Ulrich looking neighbor - was killed?  They will be killed at least that quickly, because they don't know what's coming for them.  So it buys time, but not a ton.  I've thought about the rules for this, and I like to think of it like a game of tag.  Let's take a look at the prostitute.  Once she has sex, she has passed it on.  It's not like she's a carrier and passes it on to every guy she has sex with.  You can only pass it on when you are “it”.  She'll transmit it to the first guy she has sex with, but then it's on him.
And who is this guy?  I don't know, but I can tell you this: he's not coming from out of town to sleep with a prostitute, so he's from Detroit, or somewhere in the surrounding area.  There's a safe bet that the guy paying money for a Detroit hooker isn't rolling in females, so he's not likely to pass it on anytime soon.  If he does, it's likely to be someone else in the area. 
My point is this: none of these people know something is after them, and none of them are leaving the area.  So The It will just be circling around in the Detroit area, knocking all these people off.  Perhaps The It will never be able to untangle the sex-web (sorry for saying "sex-web") to make its way back to Paul and Jay.  Maybe the prostitute just keeps having sex before The It kills her, and it never comes back to Paul.

"Hey pretty lady. What's your sign?"
Again, not a bad plan, but I believe there are better plans.  Here are the two I have come up with:

1. The same plan as Paul's, but with a slight twist.  Buy a ticket to Vegas and locate a prostitute.  There are people from all over the world looking for prostitutes in Vegas.  Have sex, and within 15 minutes of leaving The It has already moved to someone past the hooker (15 minutes is a rough estimate.  I really have no idea.  I assume the turnaround time for sex in Vegas is pretty short).  Unless it ends up landing on someone in the city of Detroit, it will likely never find its way back to Paul.  If this goes according to plan, there will be a string of infected people placed across the globe.  It may track down and kill someone in Florida, only to have to walk to Italy for the next one.  It's pretty cost-effective, too: I just checked and you can nab a nonstop flight from Detroit to Las Vegas that costs around $300.
For good measure, drive a couple hundred miles outside the city a day or two before your flight leaves.  This will ensure that you will not be a nervous wreck in the event of a delay in your flight.  You don’t want to be sitting there on the flight, only to see a naked family member shambling by your window.

2. Take to the road as nomads.  Put some space between you and The It and relax for a bit.
The average walking speed of an adult is 3.1 mph.  The It seemed to move slower than that, but that's what I'll use for my calculations.  Let's assume that the average speed in a car is 60 mph (I don't know if this is correct, but they'll be driving an older car, and this will help account for stops for food/bathroom, as well as highway construction).  This plan revolves around just taking off for a while.  The goal is to put as much distance between you and The It as you can, while still being responsible for your own mode of transportation.  No getting stuck on planes or boats or anything.  Everything is within your power this way.
I looked at some cities far from Detroit and saw how much time you could buy.  I didn't dig too in-depth, but I did look at a few.
I always loved Colorado, so my first stop was Denver.  Denver is 1,269 miles from Detroit.  Driving straight through, it would take 0.88 days, while walking would take 17.05 days.  So you could kick back in Denver for roughly 2 weeks before having to skip town.
What about something a bit more remote?  Carson City, Nevada looks really nice, and it's a town of only 55,000 people.  Why is this important?  The fewer people in a town, the less chance there is of The It blending in.  You could buy yourself 28 days in Carson City before The It came calling.
Let's go further west.  I've never been to California, but it looks lovely.  Carmel-by-the-Sea looks like an incredible city.  More importantly, the population is less than 4,000 people and you could buy yourself 31.85 days.  That's my pick.  Live in Carmel for a month.
There's a downside to this one, and it's obvious: money.  So much money.  You're essentially homeless for a month.  Maybe you could work out some kind of employment deal in Carmel.  "I'll work for an entire month, but then I'll be taking a month off."  That seems unlikely, and you're still paying for quite a bit of gas every month (rough estimates put that cost around $250 a month), as well as the constant threat of old rust bucket falling apart during one of your monthly excursions.
So, really, unless you have a ton of money, this isn't really feasible.  But it sure is a nice thought.

California dreamin'
For Paul?  I think option 1 is the way to go.  Sure, the knowledge that you will likely have killed numerous people will be on your conscience, but Paul has already determined that he's willing to make that call.
So, while option 2 is more noble, option 1 is slightly more permanent and much more manageable in terms of cost.  If The It is after you, you'll have to determine what you can afford and what your conscience can carry.

Do you have other ideas for how to survive?  Leave them in the comments.

While we're here in the spoiler zone...
I've read some people talking about how they didn't like the ending.  The more I think about it, the more I loved it, and the more I believe it's the only way they could have ended it.  The idea that you'll always have to look over your shoulder is a terrifying one.  Sure, Paul passed on the disease, but it could still come for him and Jay at any moment.  Is that person walking behind you The It, or just a harmless neighbor?  You'll never know, and you'll always be wondering.  That's how they live their life now: in constant fear.  Even a nice walk down the street could end in your demise.  It makes the mundane a source of constant terror.  Even though the movie had ended, their horror did not.  True horror is not in eluding the killer, but the knowledge that he could pop back up at any time.  Every moment in your life is plagued by this thought that something is after you.  That something is around the next corner.  If you become complacent, you die.  If you focus on it too much, it will consume you (like Laurie Strode in H20).  That’s the feeling the ending conveyed to me, and one of the main reasons I can’t stop thinking about this film.

Also, while I love the idea of Paul and Jay sharing this curse, I can't help but wondering how their relationship will hold up.  Jay never seemed completely into it.  Will she find herself feeling trapped in a loveless relationship merely because of this common experience?  "He can help keep me safe, so I guess I'll stay with him."  How long will that last?  A year?  Less?  At some point, bitterness will start to creep in and this It will threaten to tear them apart without ever being present.
To be clear, I don't want to see this movie.  I don't want a sequel that deals with their relationship issues.  But these characters felt so real, so I can't help but wondering what would happen to them after the credits rolled.

1 comment:

~C said...

Some of the legal bordellos in Nevada regularly feature porn stars, so you (generic "you"!) could go to one of those when a particularly popular porn star is there, and hey presto! It would be passed along in no time.

But here's one thing to consider: most prostitutes, and certainly ones in legal brothels, require condoms. Can It be passed through condoms? What about lesbian sex?