Followers (2022) – Film Review
Director: Marcus Harben
Cast: Harry Jarvis, Loreece Harrison, Erin Austen
By Roger Crow
Jonty is a rich student who used to be a reality TV star until things went south. Now he’s obsessed with selfies, social media and the ‘click like/subscribe’ culture.
While at college he is surrounded by a circle of friends/associates. There’s the cool outspoken Scottish guy who’s instantly annoyed by his narcissistic room-mate; the streetwise girl who also agrees on filming anything and everything, and the cute love interest whose cleavage dominates part of the movie, by design.
As the friends and associates believe they’re living in a haunted house, there are cases of fake scare stories which boost online popularity and some genuinely good jumpy scenes.
I wanted to be annoyed by Jonty and his mates from the off, but the whole thing is so well put together with its drone shots, smart editing and social media clips overlapping one another that it’s hard to turn off. And those half-seen shapes behind windows, or freaky flash frames on lap tops only add to the magnetic appeal.
The multi-layered story, with its assorted angles, contrasting film quality, and occasionally zippy one-liners means there’s rarely a chance to get bored. It’s clearly made for the ADHD generation, and credit to the cast and crew for playing the game so well. Characters we think will annoy us for the duration because of the stereotypes actually don’t. Yes, at times they are glorified cartoon characters, but the fact I was hooked for 90% of the movie is testament to its success.
For the generation of social influencers and web stars who tap into the masses’ need for quick thrills, it should touch a chord.
After an hour it does outstay its welcome, but for the most part it’s an enjoyable mix of thrills, chills, laughs and nervous energy. Imagine Paranormal Activity, Spaced, Blair Witch and Ghostwatch put in a cinematic blender, screened on YouTube and the result filmed by a dozen different cameras.
The cast are rather good, and though some will need a lie down after the full-on shenanigans, it’s a fine rollercoaster ride while it lasts.