I finally saw this. I thought it was super creepy and very well done…except for the ending. It felt to me like the writer had come up with this really clever story but had no idea how to end it in a way that was worthy of everything to that point. So let’s just leave up to the audience to make up their own ending- lazy! It’s sort of a Blair Witch Project ending and I hate those kinds.
Otherwise I was impressed. I caught on to the timeless aspect and it worked for this story. For me it gave everything a nightmarish feeling, like things get all mashed up in your dreams and shouldn’t be there with other things that don’t match the time or place. Stuff like the guy downplaying his family’s vacation home but dude, you have a vacation home! And it’s a nice one! There’s a lot of weird stuff like that in the movie. The entire movie is crammed with weird stuff.
My take, she has sex with the guys on the boat. I think it was made clear enough, she was stripped down and in the water. Btw, that is the right way to tell the audience what they need to know without spelling it out imo, compared to the end of the film. I think the boat scene wasn’t made more graphic because then it risks making the scene about promiscuity rather than her attempt to save her life. Also, the main reason to think it didn’t happen, her denial, isn’t compelling. Consider who she is talking to in that scene. She’s obviously lying because what is she going to say “Don’t worry, I had sex with some random guys”? She’s aware her friend is of a delicate nature when it comes to who she favors with her, uh, favors.
On multiple partners, I think each one counts as one. So let’s say 3 guys and one girl counts as 4 steps up the ladder for It. Guy 4 is stalked down, guy 3, guy 2…all the way down to the girl who was the origin. This is because it happened in one encounter, so they are all in it together(so to speak).
I tend to agree with those saying it’s more a metaphor for sexual abuse. This is because there are clear indications of this theme, the girl getting dumped on the street in front of her home after being abused on a date for example. But also because the rules of this threat are abusive in nature. The guy having sex with her was inflicting violence on her, taking advantage of her. She in turn is the experienced partner who is taking advantage of eager but clueless suitors later. There’s no way you work this without hurting others.
Besides the ending the only other places the movie falters is when characters, who know they are being stalked, choose densely wooded or tall grass areas to hide out. This thing has to walk to you, how is it that you don’t pick wide open areas where you can see in every direction? A Walmart parking lot would be better than the woods.
Last but not least, there’s this great MR James story “Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You” that this movie resembles in some ways. That story is just as creepy and I think makes a good companion piece to this movie. Who knows, maybe the writer was influenced by it?