Follower is a 2022 horror film about three friends on a backpacking trip who are stalked by a mysterious individual recording their every move.
Written, produced and directed by James Rich (Animal; Them; Walker) from a story written co-written with Serena Kamlani based on a 2018 short of the same title. Executive produced by Christopher Finefrock and Larry Gurry.
The Smallertown Productions movie stars Revell Carpenter (Hell Hole 2020), Molly Leach, Gigi James, Chris Scarciotta, Walker Edelman, Jonathan Jennings, James Rich, Serena Kamlani and Ted Rich.
A group of three female friends who recently graduated college embark on a backpacking trip to the woods to celebrate their impending futures and the end of an era for their friendship.
As they make their way up the trail they slowly begin to suspect that they are being followed by a mysterious individual, who, unknown to them, is tracking their every move and uploading the videos to a sinister forum where anonymous followers can dictate their fate…
While it’s not quite as bad as some reviews have suggested, Follower doesn’t succeed in its seemingly confusing intentions to present a compelling narrative with both female victims and the male psycho presented in a negative manner; this leaves no characters for the viewer to empathise with.
Follower is reasonably well-filmed in a manner that sometimes captures the issues and tribulations of the young women it focuses on. Unlike many other low budget productions, none of the performances is sub-par. And despite the focus on the internet, influencers, women-haters and modernity the vibe occasionally captures the grimy misogyny of many 70s grindhouse flicks. In that vein, some scenes are shot with striking foreground imagery coupled with background action.
Normally, with very low budget endeavours a short running time is more than welcome but even at just over an hour Followers is mostly just the three female leads wandering around in the wilderness. Only the locations, cinematography and a certain naturalness to the dialogue elevates this beyond avoiding it altogether. With more thought, Followers might have been a worthwhile endeavour but it’s too slight and lacking in the context it seems to crave.
That said, the grungy 80s electronic synth soundtrack kinda works.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“It could still be viewed as a healthy reminder of how putting your entire life online makes you vulnerable, but for the most part it simply ticks familiar horror boxes. There’s not a lot new here to offer, visually it doesn’t make the most of its setting and the progression plays out too simply. It leaves too much until its short-lived finale and doesn’t make for a satisfying conclusion.” 4/10 Film Carnage
“On the upside for Follower, the cinematography is the films saving grace. There is plenty of pretty scenic imagery. Additionally, there are some well-thought-out scenes involving the big bad’s pursuit early on of the women being stalked […] On the downside, I found the 80s synth annoying by the second act.” Mother of Movies
In North America, Freestyle Digital Media will release Follower On-Demand (VOD) on March 29, 2022.
Based on a disturbing true story that occurred in Northern Nevada in 2018. Centred around an aspiring social media influencer and her two friends, who, while on their annual backpacking trip on a popular hiking trail, became the targets of a violent mass killer. Seeking internet fame within a web group for women-hating weirdos, the killer live-streamed himself as he hunted down the girls and anyone else who got in his way.
“In our new digital world driven by likes, comments, views, and followers, Follower explores the festering evil that lurks beneath,” said director James Rich. “Follower brings a new level of realism into the horror/thriller genre that will terrify, excite, and challenge the audience.”
Cast and characters:
Revell Carpenter … Heather
Molly Leach … Riley
Serena Kamlani … Jamie
Jonathan Jennings … Party Guy
Gigi James … Sam
James Rich … Jake
Walker Edelman … Terry
Chris Scarciotta … The Follower
Ted Rich … Gas Station Attendant