Found Footage Film FOLLOWED Makes One Hell of an Effort To Scare You (Movie Review)
Now available for rental on digital video on demand, found footage horror flick FOLLOWED tells the story of youtuber 'Drop the Mic' (Matthew Solomon) and his camera crew. Mike has a show where he obnoxiously explores the sites of horrendous happenings which leads him to the Lennox Hotel. A play on the supposedly haunted formerly named Cecil Hotel of Los Angeles. The site where a woman mysteriously went missing after a strange elevator video surfaced online. Which, is clearly a play on Elisa Lam's 2013 unexplained real life death at the aforementioned hotel where her body was found in a water tank before a surveillance video surfaced of her acting strangely in an elevator. The hotel was also the residence at one point of famed serial killer Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker. FOLLOWED has a bit of fun with all of these things.
You can guess what happens next and you can't. This flick is flinging found footage hi-jinks at its audience constantly. Some of them landing, plenty of them not. Rest assured that either way, around every corner there's a new twist, turn, attempted scare. You have to admire just how many different angles and story lines this film arms itself with and it surprisingly ends up on its mark come the final frame, against all odds.
Not only does FOLLOWED have a little bit of fun with the real life true crime events of the hotel but they manage to tie in the urban legends and wild theories surrounding them.There's a creepy elevator game that can be found online which is tied to the death of Elisa Lam where a person gets in an elevator and travels to a specific pattern of floors, leading them to some goddamn freaky other worldly shit. Things get really fun here and are probably at their most original when the movie even incorporates that into it's story line. This is definitely a movie that will have you searching the web afterwards and ending up freaked out in a completely different way.
The only real detractor for FOLLOWED other than the usual found footage gripes and cheap scares is the choice to make it's lead, Mike, such an unlikable bastard. There's a lot the film has to say about the evil side of social media influencers and they use Mike as their conduit. In turn however, the filmmakers sacrifice a lot of empathy the audience could have had for him otherwise. Which, regardless of where things end up would have made for a more enjoyable journey as we're constantly forced to be with him at all times.
Either way, FOLLOWED is worth the time of horror fans and especially found footage horror fans for their unwavering dedication to throw the bloody kitchen sink at you. Another fun found footage flick best watched with some easily scared friends and the lights off.
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