New In Demand from Terror Films!
FOLLOWERS (aka CASSETTE, 2021)
Directed/written by Marcus Harben.
Starring Harry Jarvis, Loreece Harrison, Erin Austen, Daniel Cahill, Nina Wadia, Rhys Yates, Jessica Webber, Ella Jarvis, Orion Lee
YouTube influencer Jonty (Harry Jarvis)—you know he’s an influencer because he wears his hat all the way back to the back of his head, heads to college and rooms with a trio of students. Turns out their dorm room—which is the roomiest of dorm rooms I’ve ever seen, is haunted. It seems as if a ghost is trying to communicate with them or get them to leave or both. When viewership of Jonty’s channel goes through the roof, Jonty and his roommates go all in, trying to prove there is life after death.
Points to FOLLOWERS for shooting for the stars. They really try to make it seem like Jonty’s channel is the biggest thing since the Tide-pod challenge, though the depictions of the other influencers reacting to Jonty’s videos leave a lot to be desired in regards to acting and even common sense. If in fact, Jonty and his crew were able to prove life exists after death, there would in fact be a lot of attention, but the film doesn’t have the creative scope nor the budget to convey it in the movie itself.
What you get here is your typical low budget, low confidence, found footage film. Low budget because the effects are not the best and neither is the acting which is supposed to feel like the actors are not acting at all. Low confidence because the movie breaks every law possible in terms of making things seem as authentic as possible. Music is added because the filmmakers don’t have confidence that the audience will realize this is a serious or scary scene. Edits out of nowhere occur between different types of cameras. Cameras just happen to capture what needs to be captured. All of it makes the film feel staged, planned, and pre-programmed—aka fake –aka the opposite of what you’re going for in a found footage film. I would have rather they simply filmed this in a traditional manner since they go against everything that really makes found footage found footage here.
I didn’t hate this film. It just kind of exists. Films focusing on influencers always kill my interest as all it does it show how addicted some are with fame. I will give it to FOLLOWERS. It does try attempt to make a comment on the price of fame and those who strive for it above all else, but it didn’t have the self confidence to tell an unfiltered tale with no technical intervention. That’s found footage, the best kind of found footage. It looks like the director/writer passed away before this film was released and that makes me sad. Who knows? Maybe he could have used this film to learn from mistakes and make a better movie next time. As is, FOLLOWERS has some short moments that might cause a momentarily startle or two but doesn’t have enough creativity or gumption to try for authenticity, so why should you or I take time to see it?