Director Antoine Le makes a promising debut with his Followed from Global View Entertainment. The definitive definition of a social media influencer is a person or people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
Mike “Drop the Mic” (Matthew Solomon) is a social media influencer who has gained notoriety for visiting haunted attractions and murder sites. While Mike has some success, he is nowhere as popular as he would like. Mike is soon offered a lucrative sponsorship to grow his channel. He’s joined by his video crew on a visit to one of the most haunted hotels in America, where he’ll give his audience a horrific night thrill-seeking the likes of which they have never seen before.
What begins as a fun investigative challenge, including the infamous Elevator Ritual, quickly descends into a personal hell of real evil, begging the timely question: how far would you pursue internet fame. Ever since the highly overrated The Blair Witch Project was released twenty years ago, found footage films have always been hit or miss for me.
Thankfully director Antoine Le and the film’s writer Todd Klick give a traditional narrative that avoids the pitfalls of the found footage films from recent. For starters, Klick uses the real-life tragedy of Elisa Lam and the eeriness of Los Angeles’s Hotel Cecil. After viewing the film, I researched Elisa Lam and the hotel, and it was some creepy stuff.
I also respected the fact that Klick gives Mike an arc and shows why he’s so determined to get the sponsorship. Initially, the character of Mike comes off pompous. Still, over time I was actually rooting for his character and wanted to see him succeed. Klick’s script also fleshes out the
Outside of the legendary John Savage, the cast is made up of unknowns. Savage portrays in an all too brief role as a paranormal expert who warns Mike of the dangers of the hotel. Matthew Solomon spearheads the cast with his performance, and I hope to see more of him in the future. The rest of the cast all provide solid performances as well. Antoine Le never goes for cheap jump scares in terms of direction and lets the tension build in the film. Given the atmosphere that Le created with a limited budget, I can’t wait to see what he does with a bigger budget.
Followed isn’t flat out scary, but the film is enjoyable. Successfully taking cues from the movie Searching & Friend Request, the film should also serve as a reminder of the dangers of using social media. Should the duo of director Antoine Le and writer Todd Klick decide to do a sequel or a prequel of the film, they can count me in.
Final Grade B
Followed will be available on all streaming platforms on September 1st