2021 Festival Review – Followers

Social media brazenly bites back in this upcoming found footage horror film, Followers. Directed by Marcus Harben and starring Harry Jarvis (The Knight Before Christmas) and Loreece Harrison (Black Mirror), we follow the arrogant influencer, Jonty (Jarvis) as he and his university flatmates awaken a dark force that brings them online attention, but at what cost? 

It’s best to abandon preconceptions regarding found footage films as this buzz-worthy horror fluently toys with audience expectations leaving us unsure of what to expect and untrusting of every individual. Taking the stance of using contemporary trends such as ‘social influencers’ alongside an age-old ghost tale creates a unique film that both scares and amuses the viewer.

As with many independent horrors Followers was made on a lower budget, but any amateur effects are hastily avoided. The film quite guilefully uses the indie cinema stance to its advantage; excessive gore and a realistic setting provide a sturdy backbone that immerses us in the situation. Built alongside these technicalities is a witty commentary on the ridiculousness that can come with social media fame. However, unlike other recent films that tackle online status whilst wrongly mock this profession, Followers focuses upon how easily this modern career can morally alter an individual’s judgment

Tiptoeing in is one of the film’s most unparalleled charms, the lack of animosity. A bloating amount of found footage films take advantage of the personalisation that naturally ties in with the sub-genre. In Followers we see the narrative play out entirely with nothing ‘hidden’. On screen we see the disputes, falseness of paranormal activity, and the troubling aftermath. We do not receive a title card warning us that the filmmakers are still lost or how they don’t know how or why their fates met terrible ends. It’s this lack of discretion and ambiguity that yields its magnetism. 


Followers hit’s the ground fast, with quick pacing that bravely dives into the antics rather soon. Leading a film with an intense narrative concentration during the first act can be difficult to maintain, but Followers does just this, all the whilst reaching an even higher level of tension during climactic scenes, yet Followers is in it for the long run. From beginning to end an unpredictable and haunting storyline is thoroughly played out, making this film definitely one to add to the watchlist.       

   

You can check out Followers on Saturday 25th September 2021 at this years fest, tickets and details here.

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