Winner of Best Horror Feature Film of the Burbank International Film Festival 2018, FOLLOWED is a found footage film, uniquely told as an unknown entity uploads videos to the internet in real-time.
The way the movie begins is instantly engrossing. The audience sees the screen of a computer scrolling through websites that explain the recurring horrors that have mysteriously happened at the historic Lennox Hotel.
Through more activity shown on the screen, the audience sees videos from vlogger DropTheMike. His show features himself and his crew visiting places that have horrifying pasts. He visits and films locations where violent things have happened and that people believe are cursed or haunted.
Mike gets the opportunity for a corporate sponsorship from “Haute Gothic” (the play on Hot Topic here cracked me up) and potentially tons of more followers, if he spend 3 nights, including Halloween night, at the historic Lennox Hotel. I enjoyed the film’s use of the classic horror trope of appealing to an authority. In one of the DropTheMike vlog segments, Mike interviews an older gentlemen who is an expert on the Lennox Hotel. He explains what he knows about the hotel and then warns him not to go.
The film is separated into the different vlogs from each day, and intermittently the screen is interrupted by people trying to message whoever is uploading these videos… Slowly the story unfolds and weaves into an interesting twist ending!
The style is typical cinema verite to simulate a documentary. There are some jump scares, and like many of the other found footage movies I have seen, rely on shaky cameras to cause confusion. The scenes in the basement and boiler room of the Lennox though, had a very ominous tone and provided some truly suspenseful scenes. I was on the edge of my seat, and even with only minutes remaining, I was thinking “how is this gonna end?!” This is a fun flick to experience!