Austin Film Festival Film Review: Follow Her

Over the past few years, I have viewed feature films about individuals who go into the deep, dark web, and of course, those who have decided to create an online persona, become “famous” about something (or nothing), and too, how being on the platforms as a celebrity can have some drawbacks. Sylvia Caminer’s feature narrative directorial debut Follow Me, written by Dani Barker (and lead actress), is about a young woman who is an internet celebrity and how her decisions to film, act or also inaction, have an impact on her life and not necessarily positive for her.

Jess Peters (Dani Barker) has what appears to be a successful online persona with lucrative work she is willing to do, as seen, mostly with men. As we learn in the film, she can make ends meet because she lives in her father’s “extra” great apartment. Daddy (with the help of his newest bride) decides that it is time to sell it and not enable Jess. She now finds herself soon in need of shelter she must pay for.

Jess is accepting auditions and contractual jobs as they become available and is excited to be selected to work with a writer who solicits help with his screenplay. She hopes this is on the right path to pay day. Funny the writer/solicitor is named Tom Brady (Luke Cook, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, 2018), and Jess doesn’t show the least bit of curiosity about the use of the name, or the fact that the meet up to discuss details is out, out in the boonies away from the city. She is slightly cautious and prepared with some Bond – like gadgets, but still follows him to his “home” which is a barn farther into the forest it seems. All the decisions and scenes lead the viewer to be on edge, sensing doom. It is not long before she finds she is locked in and ready to be filmed against her will.

Barker and Luke Cook are good screen partners, from the dramatic to romantic, and keep the audience engaged to see who is going to outsmart who is this dangerous game created by Brady with intention to expose Jess for a specific choice she made after filming.

Director and actor/writer have created an entertaining tale about someone in need, but more so, ready to obtain funds through internet fame – despite what it may do to others. This is a psychological horror film that should be on the viewing list when available in theaters or a streaming platform.

Follow Her screened at the 2022 Screamfest Horror Film Festival in October, before screening at the Austin Film Festival where it won the Audience Award in the Dark Matters Feature category.

This film has screened at various film festivals, international and US, winning awards since early in 2022, so I have no doubt there will be upcoming news when additional opportunities will be available to view it outside of the festival circuit.

Source: Austin Film Festival, Screamfest

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