If there is something ripe for capturing when it comes to found footage it’s the prevalence of influencers and social media celebrities and how they film everything they do. I think most of us roll our eyes when we see the word Influencer but, like it or not, these are the people that are creating trends, are generating conversation, and are getting people to pay attention to what they do.
And as far as found footage goes, they have a built-in need and desire to ‘shoot everything’. Of all the issues people have with found footage films and POV films one of the biggest leveled against them are that in most cases it makes no logical sense to ‘keep shooting’. Why, if you are so scared, or are in danger, are you not just getting the heck out of there? Why are you filming, you goof?
A totally valid question.
With the idea of Influencers though these are people who make their bread and butter by documenting everything because they need content, and that content, in most cases, is them. So yeah, it’s crazy they’d shoot things when in jeopardy but if your whole reality is seen through a lens, and you are tied to creating more and more content then there is at least an entry point of legitimacy as to – Why The Crap Are You Still Filming?
FOLLOWERS is presented as the ‘real’ story behind a tragedy that befell several people living together in a home. All of the people are ‘influencers’ in some way or another and are staying in a home that had been the place of a long-ago tragedy. While the group are trying to figure one another out and what each one of them is there for they soon realize that there is a presence in the home that is not them. While questions arise as to whether one of the group, the most popular of them as an ‘influencer’, is faking the ‘haunting’, he insists that he is not responsible. As the group films everything that happens in the home, they start to slowly unravel the mystery of who the haunter may be, but with the truth of who they are comes the additional truth of WHY they are, something that may put all of their lives at risk.
This is not going to be a movie for everyone. If Influencers and that whole scene give you hives then steer well clear. This is a film about obnoxious people being obnoxious. It’s very much movie authenticity, where it feels real but hyper-real, the volume turned up so loud as to make sure that the cheap seats get the idea – these are people desperate for attention, sometimes by any means. The acting is well done because you do believe these people are really the characters they play and you want to kick the most of them in the knees for it.
The film sticks with the POV/found footage element and I appreciated that. There are moments that seem to push things a little but you can argue that all of the scenes in the film are filmed by the characters or cameras they have installed.
The story itself is far-fetched, but it works in the context we are given and, while the personalities are played broad, they all work well together and the cast does a good job. The set up is really well done and it all starts to build to something interesting but the road gets very short as they try to tie things together and it’s in the tying together that the movie falls apart.
The movie takes a really wild turn and while it’s interesting, it didn’t work for me. It turns sort of ridiculous in how it gets to where it’s going and the good will the film built up just sort of falls apart.
This is definitely an interesting take on the homemade celebrity seen in the lives of Influencers, and this is a unique take on the found footage film that often works but doesn’t bring it home at its conclusion. There are a couple of creepy moments and some good set ups but it’s more interested in the faux-celebrity of the characters and that aspect and not in the horror and that’s the hill the film dies on.
There’s an interesting idea at the heart of this film that would be interesting if it was given its own story but with what we have, FOLLOWERS is not something I’d recommend.
2 out of 5