Updated: Mar 11, 2022
Dir. Marcus Harben
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Firstly, it is with great sadness that director Marcus Harben will never see the fruition of his movie. Passing away in February 2021 through a battle with cancer, it breaks our heart that no matter how good or bad a film is, the true horror is life itself. Fortunately, Marcus was able to leave a snippet of his mind to film and as such is immortalised for eternity to which hopefully, life imitates art and his legacy finds many more followers.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT meets TikTok as a group of amateur influencers try to gain followers through a series of videos proving the existence of ghosts.
Jonty Craig (Henry Jarvis) is a wannabe influencer without many followers but together with his reluctant roommates Zauna (Loreece Harrison), Amber (Erin Austen) and Pete (Daniel Cahill) find the house they share is haunted and stream the events over the next 50 days to garner the much wanted followers at cost.
The challenge that FOLLOWERS faces is finding it's audience. Filmed mostly as a college drama more akin to the likes of CBBC programming than the dark side of the watershed, it's hard to get past the obnoxious nature of the characters and tone of FOLLOWERS. Teasing across a lunch table hall, an annoyingly cringeworthy voice over and editing that takes influence from TikTok and YouTubers who are strangers to generations above them. Everything to get annoyed about by FOLLOWERS is purposeful but proves once again the void of the generational gap which will alienate many viewers but bring in newcomers to the genre.
The cast are believable, if at first annoying, and it carries the film forward but as the films (very well executed) moments of horror and more adult themes come into play, it's a very jarring experience. The addition of Nina Wadia only grounds the film into daytime TV even further as a caring mother figure to the young housemates.
More like an episode of GRANGE HILL than SUSAN HILL, the comradeship between the housemates is enough to keep you watching but as someone who still doesn't understand influencer mentality, frankly this film has one less follower but that's not to say there is not an audience out there.