Follow Her is a psychological thriller that delves into the theme of social media addiction prevalent in today’s generation. It explores the dark and horrifying consequences of this addiction through the lens of a cinematic narrative. The story revolves around Jess, a young actress and aspiring film writer who becomes obsessed with gaining fame and followers by live-streaming her unsettling encounters with strangers without their consent. Her follower count skyrockets, but little do they know that Jess is exploiting these individuals for personal gain. However, the tables turn when a scriptwriter approaches Jess to collaborate on the ending of his upcoming film, leading to a terrifying nightmare that unfolds in Jess’s life.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Follow Her’?
In her pursuit of fame and recognition in the entertainment industry, 27-year-old aspiring actress Jess became captivated by the allure of social media. She immersed herself in the world of live streaming on a platform called “Live Hive,” where she documented her eerie encounters with strangers she met through unconventional job listings. Jess played with their desires, subtly exposing their sexual inclinations without their knowledge. To protect their identities, she blurred their faces in the videos. However, one day, a technical glitch occurred during one of her encounters, causing the stranger’s face to be momentarily revealed. The video gained significant attention on the platform, but instead of deleting it, Jess decided to capitalize on the momentum to gain even more followers and earn money. Her father and brother, being lawyers, disapproved of Jess’s unconventional pursuits and her filming of individuals without their consent. Nevertheless, Jess firmly believed that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. Shortly thereafter, Jess received a job offer from a film writer seeking a female writer to add some erotic elements to the script of his upcoming horror film.
How Did Jess Try To Evade Tom’s Capture?
Tom, an Australian film writer, arranged a meeting with Jess in the hauntingly secluded landscapes where he resided in a cabin. From their initial interaction, Tom emitted an unsettling aura, yet his charming appearance managed to entice Jess, luring her into his trap. Under the guise of collaborating on the film script, Tom invited her to his cabin and gave her an advance payment. Despite feeling a mix of confusion and conflicting emotions about the place, Jess couldn’t ignore the generous payment. Having the perfect opportunity, she discreetly filmed Tom and his entire house using a hidden camera within her glasses. Unbeknownst to Jess, Tom was also secretly recording her every move. Once inside the cabin, Tom’s behavior took a disturbing turn. He tried to get loose with Jess, creating an overwhelming sense of discomfort. However, driven by the need for full payment, Jess endured the distressing experiences.
To protect her identity, Jess used a fake name, introducing herself as Lucy. Yet, as she delved into the script provided by Tom, she discovered that he not only knew her true identity but was also privy to intimate details about her life. The script contained a chilling narrative intertwining Jess’s background and her encounter with Tom, which heightened her confusion and fear. She didn’t take much time to realize that something was deeply amiss with Tom and the entire environment. As she tried to escape, she found herself trapped, as Tom had securely boarded up all the windows and doors of the cabin. Faced with a dire situation, she desperately searched for a way to escape. Cunningly, she lured Tom into the bedroom, suggesting they engage in kinky activities. Once there, she attempted to tie him up, hoping to buy herself time to flee. However, Tom managed to free himself from the restraints and capture Jess as she tried to run away. Unbeknownst to Jess, eerie and ghostly figures wearing masks began to appear throughout the house, adding to the escalating sense of mystery in the narrative.
Why Did Tom Film Jess?
Tom forced Jess to sit in a chair in the center of the house while setting up a camera to film her torment. Bound and consumed by terror, Jess realized that Tom was fully aware of her every action, including her wrongful exposure of a client’s face and her refusal to delete the video. Wearing a sinister mask, Tom sadistically yanked out Jess’s hair extensions, employing torturous methods to coerce her into confessing her wrongdoing. Finally, Tom accessed Jess’s profile and initiated a live stream, compelling her to confess her actions regarding the videos she had made with strangers. Helpless, Jess complied with Tom’s orders, but she managed to free her hands in the process and inflict harm on him. However, aware that the camera was rolling and her thousands of followers were witnessing the scene, Jess refrained from killing Tom. Even the confused followers were unsure if the live stream was authentic or staged, and as a result, they didn’t try to intervene to help Jess out of the situation.
Completely overwhelmed and terrified, Jess decided to end Tom’s life. Yet, at that very moment, Tom revealed that the entire incident had been part of a film shoot. Crew members emerged from the shadows, exposing themselves as Tom’s team, who had been recording Jess all along. Tom commended Jess for her exceptional performance, but it was evident that the film was far from over because, according to the script, the character’s demise marked the climax. Totally bewildered, much like her viewers, Jess managed to escape the location and sought help from the police. However, due to her morally ambiguous character and her penchant for filming others, the authorities dismissed her pleas. Even her influential lawyer father proved unable to aid her. Helpless and desperate, Jess came to the realization that the film was not yet complete, as it had not reached its climax.
She retreated to her apartment, barricading the door out of fear that Tom might return to kill her for the sake of his movie. At that moment, a parcel arrived containing Jess’s jacket, returned by Tom. Jess discovered the truth about Tom and stumbled upon a live-streaming platform similar to Live Hive. To her horror, she found videos on Tom’s profile documenting her daily activities, including deeply private moments that had been made public, shattering Jess’s heart. Meanwhile, Tom, wearing a Joker mask, lingered outside her room, possibly prepared to break in and end Jess’s life to finalize his film. However, Jess unearthed the potential of the website, realizing that she, too, could become a director and expose herself or collaborate with Tom as one of the exposers. Wiping away her tears, Jess prepared to confront her reality and embrace her newfound power.
Follow Her attempts to deliver a social commentary on the pervasive fear and discomfort people experience in their modern surroundings. It highlights the alarming reality of constant surveillance and the loss of privacy due to the rise of various social media platforms. Jess, who exploited the vulnerability of others to gain popularity, becomes a victim of her own exposure, ironically realizing the suffocating feeling of constantly being watched. Her personal life is no longer private, emphasizing the idea that a significant part of her essence has died, leaving behind a living corpse or the muse of those creepy social media handlers. While Follow Her presents a unique and intriguing concept, it fails to make a lasting impact. The film suffers from exaggerated performances that do not contribute to its overall effectiveness. The plot feels disjointed and fails to connect cohesively, resulting in a convoluted and messy narrative rather than a thought-provoking horror experience.
Follow Her is a 2022 thriller drama film directed by Sylvia Caminer.