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‘Followed’ (review)

Produced by Matthew Ryan Brewbaker,
Antoine Le, Todd Klick

Written by Todd Klick
Directed by Antoine Le
Starring Matthew Solomon, John Savage,
Sam Valentine, Tim Drier, Caitlin Grace,
Kelsey Griswold, Christopher Ross Martin

 

Pretty good found footage horror film is better than many in its subgenre, even if it falls short of Blair Witch classic status.

An extremely obnoxious vlogger, Mike, with the nickname “DropTheMike”, is trying to secure sponsorship by raising his viewership up to 50,000.

He puts it up to a vote: which supposedly haunted location should he and his three-person film crew visit?

The overwhelming response: the Hotel Lennox in downtown L.A., where there have been many unexplained suicides and ghost sightings over the years, and was the final residence of famed, devil-worshiping serial killer David “Night Crawler” Olmos.

The hotel staff quite understandably does NOT want this kind of publicity and refuses to allow Mike and team to film on the premises.

So, they sneak all of their gear inside in suitcases and pose as tourists.

Strange occurrences commence almost immediately upon arrival: objects fling themselves from shelves, there are loud knocks on the door but the hall is empty when they check, etc.

Things escalate from there.

The scares and suspense scenes are fairly generic, bump-in-the-night stuff, but done well for the most part.

Some of these work better than others and the movie is far from terrifying, but it’s fun to watch rabidly nonbelieving, supremely entitled and irritating Mike start to unravel.

There’s an amusing framing device with an unseen character who is uploading Mike’s latest videos to his site, thus creating a nice mystery.

There’s also a pretty cool revelation near the end I didn’t see coming (delivered by veteran character actor John Savage, no less) and Matthew Solomon’s performance as Mike really helps this and other big scenes toward the end pay off.

He does a very good job at keeping his character juuuuust this side of insufferable, partly because he’s actually kind of funny at times.

(This was a pleasant surprise – I laughed out loud more than a few times throughout).

Solomon also makes us believe that despite his dickishness, he truly loves his fiancé, giving him a wee bit of sympathy, so that you may find yourself truly feeling scared for him in the home stretch.

Well-acted and shot, with a strong main location, Followed probably won’t make your day, but it’s one of the better found footage flicks in a while and is worth a look.

Followed is available now On Demand and Digital HD.

 

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