KEVIN MENDIBOURE - 1H 19MIN - THRILLER
David Baker (Nicolas Shake) is your run of the mill YouTube personality who happens to catch a big break for his channel when he's invited by Carol (Chloé Dumas) to investigate the chilling occurrences taking place in her home. What seem like harmless spooky antics, soon reveal themselves to be something much darker, much more sinister!
The Follower, written by Vincent Darkman and Kevin Mendiboure (who also directs) is - much like it's premise would have you believe - a seemingly straight forward pseudo found footage horror film. Typically, most problems with the sub-genre come by way of an associated film's ability to convince audiences why all these horrific scenarios and occurrences are being recorded. So often things escalate to a point beyond terror that it becomes impossible to buy the motivation behind keeping that record button pressed through it all. It's a sure fire way to take the viewer out of the moment, and sometimes, out the film entirely.
Here, because David Baker is a YouTuber, his entire motivation hinges on his ability to keep that button held down, no matter what happens. Additionally, Mendiboure cleverly incorporates multiple ways of filming the scene. Handheld, mounted camera, security, and even webcam. Each method perfectly suited for the situation they are used in! As to those situations themselves; things escalate very quickly following David's arrival at Carol's residence. Immediately we are drawn to the spooky atmosphere of the place, and just like the film's documentary, can never feel at ease as we are taken on a tour of what turns out to be a very haunted house.
It's highly recommended you go into The Follower blind, and enjoy the suspense of not knowing what lurks around each and every corner. While that same sentiment applies to the story as well, we can say that it holds some surprising twists and turns, bringing some interesting dynamic to the relationship between two of the leads. Speaking of which, both Shake and Dumas do a good job at establishing an awkward - volatile - relationship. There's always an undercurrent of anger, distrust, and even sexual frustration; with the last part playing a role in one of the scarier moments in the film. Ultimately, it all builds to a finale that's both grim, violent and haunting.
If you're looking for a spooky little tale, one which finds itself sitting in-between sub-genres, perhaps give The Follower a shot. It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, with most of its problems stemming from thorny dialogue delivery, shaky script, and uneven tone, it still has enough moxie to provide a satisfyingly creepy romp. It also demonstrates that Kevin Mendiboure has a potentially exciting career in horror, given this is his first feature-length film; I'm certainly excited to see what he has in store for us next!