I saw this one as part of a double-feature with RELIC. Two completely different kinds of Horror movies, both excellent. FOLLOWED, with a crackerjack performance from lead actor Matthew Solomon, is clearly inspired by the Hotel Cecil and the Elisa Tam case from 2013 (as was the fifth season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: HOTEL; of the two, FOLLOWED is better) and at times so closely resembles the events of the Tam case that you’d almost think you were watching a real documentary. There’s even a fictionalized version of “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, who lived at the Hotel Cecil while committing some of his crimes; although there’s no connection between Ramirez and Tam in real life, outside the fact that both were staying at the same hotel at different points in time, FOLLOWED suggests the incidents were but a match set in a much larger pattern. The Hotel Lennox in this film has much in common with the Overlook Hotel from THE SHINING, if ya know what I mean.
I didn’t know that FOLLOWED was a found footage movie before I saw it. I’m glad I didn’t know. I tend to have a reflexive eye-roll these days whenever found footage movies are mentioned. FOLLOWED proves that unique, relevant things can still be done with the played-out format, with its commentary on social media celebrity and Millennial mentality. Beyond that, it’s just a really fun flick. There are a couple of places where things come up in conversation that feel a bit contrived, like the characters wouldn’t realistically be saying what they’re saying at that moment in time and under those circumstances, but it’s rare and not enough to detract too much from the overall experience. I give it a solid A.