Subscribers – Film News | Film-News.co.uk

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This is a shrewd, insightful social media satire that hits all targets, painfully, head-on. As a writer and director, Marcus Harben is not limited to the usual suspects of content creators, but to the audience who feverishly feed these people with their ticks, thumbs and video messages.

Jonty (Harry Jarvis) is a privileged who, after an incident, tries again to impose himself and benefits from a considerable number of followers. But there’s always more and so when the home he shares in college with fellow influencer Amber (Erin Austen), cynical mature student Pete (Daniel Cahill) and calculator Zauna (Loreece Harrison) appears to be haunted, he decides it’s too good an opportunity and sets about trying to film the ghost.

As its subscribers grow, so does the need for content. This leads to an error that sees a decline soon rectified which sees his numbers increase up to the millions. Amber who he starts a relationship with catches up in the post-stream, Pete who, while having no sequel, is happy to piggyback on it, and Zauna who takes it more seriously packs the property with cameras so that we are entering a paranormal activity monitoring mode. Becky (Nina Wadia) is a counselor they only see as a leech to their followers.

Followers is a good, solid entry into the found footage horror subgenre with its ruthless satire of the very peculiar life (what might now be considered a career) of an influencer. People who seem to have no discernible quality other than futile self-promotion and sources of income for themselves and their sponsors.

Both feeding on followers, there’s little sympathy for those either, as they’re skewered in the cutaways as incredibly smug supposedly above all else: the quirky fake and the general need for to be heard and seen. It seems that no matter how over the top you think you are, almost everyone is susceptible. It’s great fun, what takes on a more serious tone is when Zauna asks a production assistant how she got her job, the flippant response that it was like everyone else; his parents knew someone.

As for the goosebumps and horror, that’s part and parcel of the story and there’s no slacking off with a vicious ghost at home. It’s very well deployed spreading a general air of dread around the place with a few jumps and bloodshed.

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