Followers Follow Found Footage Flock
Followers Film Details
Director: Ryan Justice
Release Date: 23 March 2018 *Source IMDb
Release Format: DVD/VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 1h 22min
Social Networking: Facebook
A social media couple’s camping trip is ruined by filmmakers making a documentary on how easy it is to track someone down off social media and kill them.
Social commentary always has a home in Horror cinema. The opportunity to express tribulations and/or contexts plaguing modern society. Social media has been the focus topic in Horror cinema as of late. While the technology does have its sinister side filmmakers are exploiting the bogeyman approach to communicate fears of the unknown. The once interesting Horror themes to online bullying, stalking, and narcissism is losing its appeal. Too many narratives have surfaced in rapid succession to provide a substantial impact with audiences.
Filmmaker Ryan Justice presents his vision in social media Horror with Followers a found footage film that focuses on stalking and menaces against online celebrities.
With footage films, the cinematography is an area less concentrated. The camerawork appears amateurish with its handheld first-person contexts. Coupled with poor lighting and lackluster editing makes for a class of films that either gets wow or boos from audiences. The purpose of this visual narrative seeks to mimic real-life scenarios. The approach is a low-cost way of filmmaking. With Followers, we find the standard found footage approach and cinematic production value. Not much critique can be said with Justice’s preference of visual architecture. It is an art form seen countless times over.
As with all found footage films Followers does well to follow the typical ACT structure. The first twenty minutes pass as a long dragged out presentation of the protagonists. A basic induction of the external conflict follows thereafter. The third and final ACT the closing minutes deliver the intense action sequence. Even with the commentary on the dangers of social media Followers did not break out as a redefining composition.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled for the world to see Followers. This was a huge passion project that started nearly three years ago when I began to question how much we share online and the sense of privacy and security we think we have.
I love telling stories that put the characters in extreme situations and show how they react. And with Followers I was driven to tell a story that showed what the possible consequences could be when you don’t think before you share.
Who knows who could be out there watching and tracking with malevolent intent?”
Ryan Justice Followers Director
My review for Followers is much shorter compared to others I’ve published. The film caters to a niche market, enthusiasts of found footage films. With its template-based approach, Followers becomes a “seen one, seen them all” presentation.
There are films in this stage that break the mold with the filmmaker using creative tactics to bring the story to life. I would have enjoyed a psychological approach to the narrative, perhaps combining found footage and conventional filmmaking. How about the story structure? Why are audiences forced to sit through over thirty minutes of dribble before the action scenes unravel?
If social media can teach us anything it is that time is of value. Content requires being highlighted within the opening seconds. Failure to do so and the viewer loses interest. Long tail content such as a feature film needs grace and focus to lure audiences. Perhaps Followers would have improved with a distinctive visual style while sustaining a found footage direction. Justice follows a visual narrative formula that in all aspects has passed its prime.