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  • Rev Horror


Dir. James Rich (2024)

A social media influencer and her friends find themselves at the mercy of a dangerous cult.

One of my favorite things about the horror genre is all of the subgenres that make up a subset of the whole. While everyone has their favorite subgenre, there are tons of great movies within each one, and it's very rare that a movie series will mix and match between various overarching influences. Followers, streaming on Screambox starting 3/12, is an example of this rarity, as it is a home invasion sequel to the film Follower, which was a mixture of found footage/survival horror. Thankfully, the beginning of Followers wraps up the previous film in a tidy bow at the beginning, much like slasher films will do in their sequel by playing a direct replay of what happened at the end of the previous film. As this film will be streaming on Screambox, it certainly makes sense to deliver a recap of the previous, less-seen movie in the beginning of this one, so it's much appreciated.

Social media influencer Heather (Revell Carpenter) and her friends Riley (Molly Edelman) and Sam (Gigi James) are survivors of an attack in the wilderness, barely making it out alive but trying their best to continue to live their lives. They are gathering to celebrate the New Year festivities at Heather's boyfriend Gareth's (Michael Bonini) fancy Italian-style home, and it isn't long before they find themselves being attacked by a group of cult members wearing creepy animal masks. The friends and their boyfriends find themselves having to fight off the cult to escape with their lives... for the second time.

The cinematography actually works fairly well. For the most part, it's fairly standard movie making, but there are times where it differs from the norm. Rather than quick cuts, sometimes the camera darts back and forth between the characters, giving the audience the feeling that they're spying on the character by mimicking head movements. It also features some unique wide-panning shots that feel very much like social media shots, helping to further reinforce the influencer aspect of the film. It's strange, and can occasionally feel like it's poorly edited, but it feels like it was done purposefully to make the stalking aspects of the film feel even more realistic.

The pacing of the film is very slow, which is okay to a certain extent, but events don't really kick off until there's less than a half hour left in the movie. The finale is very strong, however, and helps make the wait worth it. The actors all do a fantastic job in their roles, coming across very naturally and believable without ever seeming to overact. The score and sound design are creepy and effective, ratcheting tension to almost unbearable levels at certain points in the film. Ultimately, Followers feels like an indie version of You're Next, though it certainly never reaches the heights that that film achieved.

All in all, Followers is definitely not a bad film. It suffers at times from its indie production values, and it definitely could be done better with a higher budget and perhaps a bit more experience behind the camera. It's a very watchable home invasion film, however, and it's a film that succeeds far more often than it fails. It's a unique concept, something I haven't seen done quite in this way before, and it's genuinely disturbing in its scope and realism. If you're a fan of home invasion thrillers in general, or if you just really hate social media influencers, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a shot.

Who this movie is for: Cult movie fans, Home invasion lovers, Tiktokers

Bottom line: Followers is a pretty decent indie home invasion thriller that has some truly bright spots and a really unique setup. Critiquing both social media influencers and true crime in general, it's definitely a topical film that feels like it fits snugly into today's media obsession. It drags at times, but if you can get past the beginning, it's got a fairly fast-paced ending and some truly fantastic kills. Definitely recommend checking it out, and it's streaming exclusively on Screambox starting 3/12.


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