English Department Hosts Viewing, Discussion on ‘It Follows’

Screengrab via Movieclips Indie 'It Follows' is a box office success and pulled in 20 million worldwide with only one million dollars.

Brian Ellis  

Contributing Writer  

Uneasiness, suspense, fear; are some of the feelings or themes portrayed during the chilling Halloween season.

The English Department at East Stroudsburg University hosted their own horror-themed event by holding a showing and discussion of the film “It Follows” directed by David Robert Mitchell.

According to IMDb, “It Follows, is a horror film originally released through a series of film festivals in 2014.

This film is classified as an indie film, that had a budget of about 1 million dollars, and after its year release, it grossed over 20 million worldwide.

On Oct. 29, 2019, English professors, Erica J. Dymond, Jan Selving, and Jasmine Villa hosted a showing and discussion of the film in Beers Lecture Hall.

After receiving some of the snacks and refreshments available the students settled into their seats. Once it seemed like a good amount had made their way into the hall the film began.

The horror film tells the story of a young woman who is followed by some supernatural creature. It is never disclosed what the creature is, or how to kill it, only that it will follow you until it gets you.

The way a person is cursed by this creature is by having sex with a person already cursed, it beast can only be passed on.

After the movie concluded a discussion was led by the panel of English professors. Dr. Dymond started the discussion by referring to a handout of questions that had been passed out prior to the movie starting.

There is much controversy about the role of the creature, what does it represent? As the question was brought up to the audience most of the students agreed that the creature represented a killer STD.

Dr. Dymond expressed belief in this for the longest time until Mitchell had disproved this theory. Although the director and writer disproved this theory he did not really give a pinpoint answer either.

“In situations like this, it leaves it open for interpretation,” said Dr. Selving.

This can be accurate because as the conversation continued the view on the creature changed among the students. Some stood by their decision of saying that the creature represented a killer STD while others said it could represent how your past baggage follows you.

Dr. Villa added, “in a way you can say the film hits on elements of consent.”

Even though a person has agreed to have sex with you “if they knew a killer creature would come after them would they continue?” Overall, although it may not have been a movie released in theaters the story and cinematic fell were excellent.

“It Follows”, may not have followed the general roles of a horror film but still captured people’s attention which is evident in its success.

The English professors did an excellent job of hearing the students’ opinions about the film while also making them think.

The conversation was involved and flowed well and students bounced off of each other’s comments.

Freshman Austin Possinger said, “He had already seen the movie a few years ago, but viewing it today gained a new appreciation.”

Having open discussion forums allowed for students to gain a deeper understanding or even appreciation for the film. When students come to department-sponsored events they may sometimes feel that they are in a lecture or class. This was definitely not the mood as the event progressed.

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