clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The It Follows survival guide: how to not get killed by a sex monster

It Follows.
It Follows.
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

It Follows makes you think.

Director David Robert Mitchell's film is no doubt scary. But it's also one of the most thought-provoking movies of the year, and the most puzzling horror movie in a while, one that seems almost guaranteed to spark post-film conversations.

So much of the film's power lies in the premise: its central curse is passed on through sex. If you are cursed by a suitor, a monster will walk toward you until it catches and kills you. You can put distance between yourself and the monster, but it's always, always walking. The only way to evade the monster is by passing it on (via sex), but if the person you give the monster to doesn't sleep with anyone else before he or she is killed, the monster heads after you again.


The movie frequently places the viewer in the shoes of its heroine (Maika Monroe) — nudging you to ask yourself what you would do in this situation. How would you handle this monster? Is there a way to evade it? Can it be defeated? How can you save yourself?

After some discussion with other Vox staffers and friends, we've come up with five strategies to rid yourself of this relentless sex monster once and for all:

1) Sleep with an astronaut who is going into space

This would require proper planning and extensive research, but it might be the best option. Since the monster can only walk, it would be quite impossible for it to get to the cosmos, thus leaving you and the astronaut safe.

Of course, astronauts have to come back to earth eventually, and the monster will no doubt be waiting for said astronaut wherever he or she might land. That leaves you with two solid options: redesign the landing site to ease your astronaut's escape, or simply have your astronaut have sex with someone on the International Space Station right before the return to Earth.

Bonus: this would also function as a great argument for continued funding of the world's space programs. "The only thing keeping a horrifying sex monster at bay is the International Space Station!" Worse arguments have prevailed in the past.

2) Accept a bicoastal lifestyle

This strategy requires meticulous planning, a good housing plan, and a lenient boss. Since the monster can only walk, and you are ostensibly smarter than the suburban Detroit teens in the movie, you'll swiftly realize that getting on a plane is a lot smarter than driving place to place.

The next, natural step would be to set up base in both California and New York City, and then evade the monster for the rest of your life. You wait for it to come to, say, Los Angeles (after crossing the Grand Canyon), then fly to New York. The distance between the two is 2,445.43 miles, and if the monster is lurching along at two miles per hour, that will give you approximately 1,222 hours (around 50 days) until you have to board a plane for the opposite coast.

Of course, having a private jet so the monster can't catch you at the airport would make this option easier. As would a small fortune.

3) Sleep with someone overseas

In the movie, one character eyes two prostitutes on a Detroit street after being infected. Our hero has the right idea: a sex worker would almost certainly pass the monster along quickly. But he was also thinking too small.

A better move here would be to travel overseas and sleep with a prostitute. Of course, you'd have to be careful to only hire someone who's clearly in the profession of their own volition and not being trafficked, lest you abet a practice more monstrous than even the It Follows monster.

If you'd rather not do that, you could always just sleep with someone overseas and fly back home. Granted, this strategy isn't going to be as foolproof as the prostitution one, but it would still buy you more time than just driving around the seedier parts of your home city.

4) Sleep with a porn star

If this porn star is also an astronaut from overseas, you are in luck.

5) Accept your fate

One of the more heroic things you could do would be to simply accept your fate as monster chum and let it kill you, thus not dooming anyone else to your fate.

In fact, the most heroic thing you could do might be to actually convince everyone in the chain to accept their deaths, too. The monster would work down the chain to the person from whom it originated, kill him or her, and then cease to exist.

You might be considered a hero. But you would also be dead.