Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Holiday Horror: Follow (2015)

Quinn aspires to be an artist and works as a bartender to support himself and his girlfriend Thana. Both of them are waiting for acceptance to Columbia University. Five days before Christmas, Thana intoduces a gun into their foreplay and asks Quinn to kill himself. He refuses and everything goes black. When he wakes up with the gun in his hand, he discovers Thana dead from a shot to the head, shattering his entire world.

Follow is an impressive indie horror that tells its story in bits and pieces. Small flashback vignettes fill in the gaps to the story and show more of Quinn and Thana. Thana seems to have been obsessed with death shown in her continually asking Quinn cryptic questions and acting strangely. She challenged him to hold his breath underwater for as long as he can and asked him what he would do with her body if he found her dead. These are bizarre questions and hypothetical situations that showed her true state of mind. Quinn largely dismissed them and sometimes humored her.

The reality of the present is bleak as it looks like Quinn killed Thana. He has a choice to make: call emergency services or cover it up somehow. After a reasonably dazed time trying to remember or figure out what happened, Quinn decides to clean it up and act as if it never happened. It would work a lot better if he didn't still have the body lying around. He grows obsessed with her and decides to bathe her body, have dinner with it, and even tries to preserve it. I understand the grief and sadness Quinn is going through, but his choices go from bad to worse to psychotic as his mental state deteriorates. Honestly, the inital situation with the gun should have been shut down right away and his actions started out pretty bizarre. As a result, he gets less relatable as time goes on.

Outside of his grief spiral, various people enter the house and try to see what's going on, including Quinn's co-worker Viv (who has fallen in love with him), his landlord, Thana's twin sister Shay, and a Christmas caroler who sings a carol for $1. Not all of them fare so well. Reality warps with Quinn's psychosis and what we see isn't always what actually happens. The Christmas aspects put cheery holiday trappings right next to this depressing plot. Overall, the film has an uncomfortable air that gets more and more intense. Most of the film takes place in one claustrophobic house. Follow has a unique form with interesting twists, but populated with unrelatable main characters.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

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