Directed by Kévin Mendiboure & starring Nicolas Shake & Chloé Dumas, The Follower combines modern story-telling tools (YouTube) with a classic ghost story in a found footage setting. Hardly an original idea but unlike many others, The Follower actually manages to chill & intrigue.
A low budget French offering, David Baker (Shake) is a YouTube personality whose channel is dedicated to ghost hunting. He receives an invite from Carol (Dumas) to investigate supernatural occurrences in her home.
Once there he discovers that she is a little eccentric. She insists he can film anywhere in the house except for her grandmother’s room upstairs. Not a lot happens, at least in the supernatural sense at first. David gets to know Carol though discovering that she is incredibly lonely but harbours suspicions about her mental state when strange things do begin to occur.
Eventually David realises things aren’t quite what they seem. He leaves Carol even when she begs him not too & returns home. Sometime later ghostly events start to happen at David’s house, it seems as though something may have followed him.
The synopsis & that the film is a found-footage horror may put seasoned horror fans off as it doesn’t exactly imply originality. However, The Follower is a solid entry in the paranormal sub-genre doing more with far less than most. Its story builds well & the conclusion is satisfying & different. There is more going on here than your average ghost story which makes for a more exciting watch.
A small cast means there is heavier focus on the two leads. Shake does alright for the most part with some occasionally awkwardly delivered lines but Dumas is the star. Her ‘on the edge’ character, one that you can’t quite work out really sells the impact of what is actually going on.
The Follower smartly tries to build tension rather than go for the expected in your face jump scare route. While not necessarily scary, it does have moments that chill. Moments that might make you grip the cushion a little tighter or maybe turn a light on or two.
Where the film does falter is with the found-footage filming style. A constant complaint for us, The Follower isn’t the worst of the culprits & does well to avoid shaky cam. However, it does fall into a bad habit of having static & lines appear across the screen whenever supernatural occurrences are happening. It’s a little frustrating as we can see what is going on but the lines/static end up distracting & seem so unnecessary.
Overall though, The Follower is a good modern, low budget paranormal flick that tells a compelling story & has just the right number of chills.