It’s stunning that there hasn’t but been a basic movie about influencers, with these modern-day narcissists now frequently being put within the cinematic pillory in the best way sleazy politicians, grasping financiers or fictional film stars as soon as had been. This frenetic horror-comedy debut by Marcus Harben – who sadly died final yr – has just a few sharp moments, however by no means fairly reconciles its two sides to cleanly ship the social-media skewering it’s clearly itching to.
Posh-boy influencer twerp Jonty (Harry Jarvis), completely skewed of baseball cap, is a minor-league entity on-line as he continues his “journey” in school. However he’s in his ingredient when he strikes right into a home with documentarian Zauna (Loreece Harrison) and fellow vlogger Amber (Erin Austen). After they preserve encountering spooky disturbances – unexplained outbursts of 90s rave music, apparitions on laptop computer screens, unquiet kitchen fittings – Jonty begins to scent the clicks. As he posts the proof on-line, his follower rely explodes, even when some folks, together with their different housemate, acerbic alcoholic Scotsman Pete (Daniel Cahill), consider he’s staging all of it.
With the gang rigging up Paranormal Activity-style cameras round their abode, or documenting their rovings handheld, Followers largely follows the standard found-footage format. It does, although, replace it for the zeitgeist with common segments that includes on-line commenters posting response movies – which seize the inane cacophony of the social media age. However the knowingness of this satire is incompatible with the worry of the unknown on which true horror relies upon, particularly in the course of the movie’s jumbled early phases. A few of the characterisation is a bit uneven too: one minute Pete is denouncing the “Jontsquad”, the following he’s fortunately colluding within the movies.
Followers settles into extra of a groove because the supernatural ingredient takes maintain totally, with Nina Wadia’s chirpy therapist additionally trying to increase her on-line numbers by getting in on the motion. Harben clearly put some thought into the ultimate twist, nevertheless it largely solely works on the horror entrance, and doesn’t actually have a lot to do with the earlier commentary on self-obsession. Jarvis is capably obnoxious as Jonty, however he’s a bit generic as a creation; not fairly the nice influencer-monster cinema is crying out for.