The Follower is a low-budget horror movie by Kévin Mendiboure. It has moments of pure horror and great potential from first-time feature film director. Just keep in mind that this is made on a low budget.
I didn’t really know what to expect from The Follower. However, I always try to watch low-budget productions with an open mind. So what if the audio isn’t perfect and the lighting could be better. If the story is good and the actors and director can pull it together, low-budget can be great.
From the first scenes, I was very impressed by The Follower. Not only was the premise pretty awesome – and not unlike that of Creep 2 – the quality was also much better than expected.
So let me explain from the beginning of this review, why the rating isn’t higher. It’s actually a rookie mistake that we typically see from first-time feature film directors, who previously focused on short films. The weakness of The Follower is very simply a weak middle.
Obviously, this doesn’t take anything away from the great elements of the movie, but it does result in a lower rating for the movie overall. The real rating is probably at 2½ now, but it could quite easily have been one star higher.
Be sure to watch the trailer for The Follower right here – or you can just continue reading our review below.
The issue of accents
The cast of The Follower had me a bit torn. Overall, I really liked Nicholas Shake from the very beginning. He’s the protagonist of the story and works perfectly. He reminds me a bit of Justin Long, which definitely isn’t bad. I associate Justin Long with two classic horror movies; Jeepers Creepers (before we knew the director was a creep himself) and Drag Me to Hell (by the formidable Sam Raimi).
Chloé Dumas plays the character of Carol Anderson, which indicates a Scandinavian heritage. As a Scandinavian, I’m used to watching movies and TV shows in lots of different languages. As a kid, we had TV channels in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, and English. Basically, I just watched whatever entertained me and so I’ve heard all these languages spoken for as long as I can remember.
In this movie, Chloé Dumas did not sound like a Scandinavian speaking English, which is probably because she’s French. My point, however, is that she shouldn’t have an accent at all. Or rather, it wouldn’t be an issue, if there was an explanation for it. And whenever a scene called for her to be angry or agitated, her accent became even more prominent. Such a shame, because the best scenes of the movie take place in that house with just her and Nicholas Shake.
And for the record, don’t get me wrong. The accent issue is a pet peeve of mine, but Chloé Dumas had some great moments while portraying Carol Anderson in The Follower. She is creepy as all Hell one second and a sweet and kind soul the next. That alone is a perfect skill for any horror movie!
Less is more
The Follower is a true horror movie in all the scenes taking place in the old, creepy house. The weakness of the movie is its middle, where we leave the house. I get the idea of it, but those scenes suddenly look and feel more low-budget.
As such, there’s an obvious shift in the entire style of the movie. And, unfortunately, not for the better.
This was also the weakest part of the movie, where scenes and plots (even characters) weren’t as coherent as earlier. Of course, it’s not like the movie falls apart completely, it just loses a lot of the tension that had been built so beautifully.
However, do not fear (or do!) because it gets back on track towards the ending.
Kévin Mendiboure definitely shows potential
As I stated at the beginning of this review, I don’t care too much about the technical details when watching any low-budget production. If scenes in the movie makes me jump and I’m completely entralled by the story at times, then the director knows his trade.
There’s no doubt director Kévin Mendiboure knows what he’s doing. The Follower shows his potential so clearly at times. It’s all about tightning up the story of a feature film. And maybe allowing the audience to linger at details rather than adding more scenes. For one, the sex scene really didn’t do anything for this movie. But hey, we all know the mantra “sex sells”, so I can see why it was there.
Whatever Kévin Mendiboure makes next will have our attention. Especially since I expect him to get better with each production. And with the moments of pure horror shown in The Follower, he could give us some brilliant movies in the future.
The Follower is out on all major VOD outlets now.
Director: Kévin Mendiboure
Writer: Vincent Darkman, Kévin Mendiboure
Cast: Nicolas Shake, Chloé Dumas, Benjamin Polounovsky
Internet video blogger David Baker is invited by Carol, an eccentric and lonely woman, to investigate supernatural occurrences in her home. He is instructed that he is free to film everywhere except for her grandmother’s room upstairs. At first, he sees nothing. However, things take a ghostly turn as he slowly discovers that things aren’t what they seem and, even worse, it could be that something wants to follow him out…