Throughout the movie they're watching old movies, either in a theater with an organ or on old TV, the cars don't look particularly new either, but Yara has some sort of clam-shell device that appears to be a kind of e-reader.

So, what year is this movie supposed to take place in?

Buddy and I talked about it briefly last night after seeing it, but I've grown more curious as I reflect on the movie today.

  • From what I heard the movie is largely paying tribute to 80s horror movies and deliberately hiding the actual timeframe it's set in might just be a part of that.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Apr 4, 2015 at 19:53
  • That's what I figured, but was curious to know if anything was said regarding the matter.
    – MattD
    Apr 4, 2015 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


The straight answer to your question is that It Follows does not take place in any particular time.

In an interview with The AV Club, writer/director David Robert Mitchell discusses the origin of the story being a recurring nightmare of his from childhood:

I’d had this idea for a long time. It came from a nightmare that I had as a kid—this basic idea of being followed by something that can look like different people and only I could see it. It was very slow and always coming for me.

Because of this, he wanted to keep the timeframe ambiguous, while also making the events seem a little dream-like. When asked by The AV Club about the time period and "shell-phone" shown in the movie, Mitchell had this to say:

There are production design elements from the ’50s on up to modern day. A lot of it is from the ’70s and ’80s. That e-reader cell phone—or “shell phone”—you’re talking about is not a real device. It’s a ’60s shell compact that we turned into a cell phone e-reader. So I wanted modern things, but if you show a specific smartphone now, it dates it. It’s too real for the movie. It would bother me anyway. So we made one up. And all of that is really just to create the effect of a dream—to place it outside of time, and to make people wonder about where they are. Those are things that I think happen to us when we have a dream.

  • 3
    The only thing the director did by using props and set pieces from different decades is take me out of the story and make me question if these were terrible oversights. Dreamlike was definitely not the resulting effect.
    – user20326
    Apr 8, 2015 at 15:15
  • 1
    Yeah, I can definitely see where @user20326 is coming from, as the entire movie I'm occasionally trying to wrap my head around when this film is supposed to take place.
    – MattD
    Apr 19, 2015 at 17:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .