For the most part, the horror community adores David Robert Mitchell’s 2014 It Follows. In my opinion, it’s a magnificent film, one that brilliantly utilizes tension and paranoia to an extent that few other films can even hope to achieve. Telling the story of a young woman who, after a sexual encounter, is pursued by a strange supernatural force that will kill her if it reaches her. Never stopping its pursuit, it walks relentlessly towards wherever she goes, never stopping, never resting, and always following.
During the course of the film, which is set in Michigan, Jay and her friends go across the state in an effort to protect her from this strange entity. But just how far do they, and “it”, actually go in that time? Reddit user LundgrensFrontKick has put together an interesting hypothesis that aims to answer that very question. Using the film’s information, it seems that the creature, “…walked 1,017 miles while hunting Jay.” How was this number reached? Let’s give the floor over to LundgrensFrontKick.
In an effort to track the movements of the monster I searched for all the filming locations and have come up with an estimated travel total that I’m quite pleased with. Director David Robert Mitchell didn’t make it easy because there are moments during the film in which you have no idea where Jay was going or why it took about 14-hours to make a five-hour drive up North (I’m guessing sleep). However, after getting a feel for the locations and timeframe I know how far the creature traveled because the layout of the locations fit its movements.
Here are some assumptions and timeframes I’ve come up with.
1) The creature moves at a 20-minutes per mile pace and is always moving. Thus, the total for any 24 hour period is 72 miles.
2) Jay first becomes cursed around 9:00PM at night while at the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital. This is when I’ve started clocking the miles of the monster
3) The film takes place over the course of 15 days. This may seem like a long time frame but the trip that our heroes take to a northern beach house in Whitefish Point in northern Michigan covers 10 of those days. I chose Whitefish Point because it is on the furthest tip of Michigan and the mileage works out almost perfectly when taking the speed of the monster into account. Also, the gang started their trip around 9:00PM and drove through the night and arrived at the beach house around 12:00PM. The total trip was around 15 hours so I’m assuming they slept, got supplies and had a long breakfast to cover the 15 hours. The total mileage is 702 miles (9.75 days walking).
4) I’m assuming that the creature always reroutes itself and follows the quickest route when its prey changes locations. Since it can’t just walk through homes I think it uses surface roads, alleys, and areas that aren’t fenced off to get to its prey.
5) The director David Robert Mitchell uses Detroit as a character so I’m going to use the filming locations as the actual locations in the story. The neat thing is they actually work really well in regards to the creature’s movements.
Below is a breakdown of the days and locations I know Jay visited. I could’ve easily just added up the hours and miles walked and called it a day, but I wanted to give you a feel for the creatures travels and show you the above assumptions make sense.
Sidenote: There is a 0% chance of actually knowing how far the creature followed Jay. However, since you won’t get an exact answer I wanted to make sure the timeline and math were correct to give you the best representation of the following.
Day One 9:00PM – 12:00AM – Jay becomes infected with the horrible curse at the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital and is driven back to her house and eventually to the local hospital.
Day Two – Jay leaves the Hospital and goes home to get ready for school. She heads to the University of Detroit around 9:30AM where she first sees the creature. The timeframe works because it had about 12 hours to pinball around and make it to the school. During this time Jay covered 63 miles. However, since the creature didn’t have to walk those 63 miles due to its course correction, it makes sense that 12 hours would only be needed because the creature started towards the house/hospital and was able to course correct to the university which is only 17 miles away from the abandoned building. After Jay runs away from the creature she goes to Clark’s Ice Cream and Yogurt then drives around for a while and goes home.
Day Three – Jay is still awake late at night (for good reason) when a window is smashed in and the creature comes after her. She runs to a park and meets up with the rest of the gang. From there they drive to an abandoned house, Clawson High School, Jeff’s home in Troy and eventually head to Jay’s house to pick up supplies and clothes. The gang then starts driving overnight to Whitefish Point. The creature is pinballing all day over Detroit and surrounding areas and because of this it never catches up to Jay (must be annoying).
Day Four – The crew posts up at a sweet Beach house.
Day Five – Beach
Day Six – Beach
Day Seven – Beach
Day Eight – Beach
Day Nine – Beach – The creature finally gets to the beach after a 352-mile walk and it gets its hands on Jay. However, Jay escapes and the creature has to walk all the way back to Detroit.
Day Ten – Hospital – She passes the curse over to Greg
Day Eleven – Hospital
Day Twelve– Hospital
Day Thirteen – Hospital – We know she has been in the hospital for three days because Greg mentions that “it’s been three days and there is nothing following me.”
Day Fourteen – Jay finally goes home and watches Greg get killed by the creature. She drives away and spends the night in some woods.
Day Fifteen – Jay wakes up and walks toward a boat with some dudes in it. She then drives home and concocts a plan with her friends to kill the creature at a swimming pool that night around 11:45PM (the exterior for the pool is a different location than the interior. I’m sticking with the exterior location). I don’t want to spoil the rest because I’m not a jerk and there is some ambiguity.
The creature walked 1,017 miles while hunting Jay. I think this is a solid guess and the timeframe works if the following monster moves at the assumed pace. I think this total makes it more frightening because the dang thing never stops and is always moving towards you at a leisurely pace in hopes of bending you up like a pretzel.
72 x 14 = 1,008 (14 full days). 3 x 3 = 9 (first day 9:00PM – 12:00AM). 1,008 + 9 = 1,017.
WHEW! That’s one helluva project to take on and I’m impressed by the amount of work put into it! Whether or not it’s accurate, I think we can all agree that LundgrensFrontKick definitely put a lot of care and thought into this riddle.
What other random questions like this have you always had about other horror movies? Let us know in the comments!