followed home | joaquin f. palma | alexander fitchett | zachary ryan block | ray rozmiarek | balbinka korzeniowska | slasher | united states | tamara de kauwe | amanda greig | don simkovich | jon lance duran | kati garrdio
Film: Followed Home
Director: Joaquin F. Palma
Writers: Alexander Fitchett and Joaquin F. Palma
Starring: Zachary Ryan Block, Ray Rozmiarek and Balbinka Korzeniowska
This is a movie that I only know about because I won a set of DVDs that were supposed to be featuring ‘Hatchets and Cleavers’. I did look this up as other movies in this set aren’t necessarily horror. They are still dark dramas or thrillers, so close enough for me to review here. Other than that, I went blind.
Synopsis: a group of friends head out for a mountain retreat only to see a gruesome murder at a nearby cabin. They head home wanting to forget the experience… but are followed home by the murderer.
We start this off in a house where Abbey (Amanda Greig) is on spring break. Her friends went off to Cancun and she gets a call from one of them. She relays that she made the correct choice. Her mother is away for a bit and she hears something outside. She is attacked by someone referred to only as The Follower (Jon Lance Duran).
The movie then shifts over to a small business. It was started by Sam (Zachary Ryan Block) and his best friend Eddie (Ray Rozmiarek). They have a receptionist by the name of Kate (Balbinka Korzeniowska). Eddie is interested in her and she’s been invited to come to Big Bear. Also coming along is Sam’s girlfriend, Lauren (Tamara de Kauwe). Things get a bit awkward as Eddie feels out how Kate feels. There is also a good amount of drinking.
Their weekend retreat does get interrupted when Abbey shows up, having been stabbed. They alerted the police and this ruins their weekend. Trying to return to their normal lives isn’t easy. Part of it is harboring the guilt of what they saw. They also could be followed home by more than their experience.
That is where I’m going to leave my recap for this movie as we don’t get a lot to the story. It is introducing these characters, getting them to this cabin and then their lives being turned upside. What is interesting here is that we see how it affects them in different ways. Originally, I was curious if this was just going to be them dealing with this event. There is more to it than that though.
Since the biggest part is being a character study, let me delve into that a bit more. The best part of this movie to me is the banter between Block and Rozmiarek. They feel like old friends. This duo legit had me laughing at their dialogue. It felt natural. I’d even say that the interactions while they’re getting along with Korzeniowska and de Kauwe. That felt like when my friends and I have gone on vacation together. What doesn’t though is when they’re asked to be dramatic. That is where it comes off stiff and I had issues. The same can be said as well for Don Simkovich who is Detective Jacobs and Greig. This is hit or miss.
Now to bring back what I thought this was going to be originally. We see each of this group deal with grief and stress different. Lauren breaks up with Sam. She says that when she looks at him, she remembers what happened. I do feel like this is a bit of an overreaction to what we truly got. I can go with it though for the sake of the movie. Eddie also breaks it off with Kate, who did seem to be interested. That felt true to life. Sam and Kate also hook up, which I’m sorry if that is a spoiler. That is also a logical thing to have happen. I was on board with this aspect.
What didn’t work though was The Follower. It is odd to hear from me that I’d rather see these characters deal with the issues stemming from what happened and not have a killer. The problem I have is that we learn nothing about him. All we know is that he follows them home. How did this killer come to attack Abbey? Why did he follow them home? I don’t think this was thought out and they just figured that we had a killer who is like a slasher villain. How did he also know where to go? There is also this odd ending sequence with Josie (Kati Garrido) and I don’t know how these factors in with what happens to our group. This is a miss.
Let me then go to the filmmaking. Despite this being a low budget movie, the cinematography is fine. It is a bit shaky, but I can forgive that. The framing was decent. There isn’t a lot in the way of effects. It almost feels like the film didn’t want to focus on it. If you can’t make it look good, then definitely hide what you can. Since we needed to have a killer, I just needed a bit more in this category. Other than that, the soundtrack fit. I don’t remember it to be honest so there is that.
In conclusion, I think that we have good thoughts here as to what to make, but it falls short in giving us that. If we decided to focus on the effects what this group experienced, I think we have something there. The killer and what they do is interesting there. It just needed to be fleshed out more. The acting is solid at times and falls short others. The filmmaking is about the same as well. How this was written does cause it to fall short at times for me. I can’t recommend this one unfortunately.
My Rating: 4 out of 10