It seems like it’s much more difficult to scare audiences these days. People have seen so many horror movies over time that they know all of the tropes and can almost call out when the scares are coming. Putting a modern spin on horror is also not something new. Social media has played a major part in films like “Unfriended” and “Tragedy Girls.” Could “Followed” find success with a similar setup?
The answer is pretty much a resounding yes. “Followed” centers around a popular social media influencer and his buddies as they attempt to gain more subscribers and a big sponsorship by spending the night at a haunted hotel and documenting the entire thing. That premise doesn’t sound all that unique and the first half of the film will make you think that you’re in for your standard horror flick. That all changes around the halfway mark.
Without spoiling things, that’s the point where “Followed” becomes something totally different. The characters transform from seemingly being parodies to being more fleshed out. That makes you care about them, which is important. It makes the events of the rest of the film mean something. A lot of that success is owed to writer Todd Klick, who understands how important it is to set things up expertly and make sure it pays off later.
One of the best things that Todd Klick came up with was the movie’s double mystery of sorts. The viewer is certainly interested in what’s happening to the main cast but there’s another huge question hanging over everything. The story of “Followed” is told by an unknown figure who is watching the videos of the events on a computer. In a world where found footage films have already been beaten to death, this is a unique spin on it that adds to the experience.
Klick is not alone in deserving praise for this film. Director Antoine Le was a great choice to helm it. That’s because he proves very quickly that he can expertly deliver something suspenseful. His pacing in nearly every scene is done so well that you’re drawn in even if it’s something basic. There are scenes that don’t read all that tense or exciting on paper, yet Le injected exactly what was required to make it gripping.
The cast also does some strong work. Matthew Solomon plays the lead role of Mike and he brings a certain charm to the performance. There are times where you might not typically like the character but Solomon does enough to keep you on his side. Tim Drier (Chris), Caitlin Grace (Nic), and Sam Valentine (Danni) all do strong supporting work so you care about those characters as well. It helps that these actors aren’t the most recognizable, which helps immerse you into the story and isn’t distracting.
“Followed” is something of a welcome surprise. You might go into it thinking it’ll be like every other horror movie you’ve seen in recent memory but it does just enough to shock you. It has genuine scares, tense scenes, solid acting, and strong writing to make it a quality horror film.