Follow Her Offers Chilling Commentary on the Pitfalls of Social Media Fame

Yes, at nearly the halfway point of 2023, the horror genre delivers another social media thriller. If horror mirrors societal anxieties, we’re clearly handwringing over our TikTok, Twitch, and OnlyFans accounts. Just two weeks ago, Shudder platformed another social media horror movie, the very effective Influencer. Now director Sylia Caminer and writer Dani Barker’s Follow Her – not to be confused with Followers or #FollowMe – arrives to offer more taut commentary on our collective obsession with chasing ‘clicks’ and ‘likes’.


Struggling to find roles, aspiring actress Jess Peters makes ends meet with her social media videos. Responding to online requests, Jess helps clients act out their fantasies and fetishes while secretly filming them for her site. When the site’s ‘scrubbing’ technology fails, however, her last client’s face is momentarily explored. But the post is booming and starting to rack up ad revenue. Instead of taking it down, Jess leaves the video posted. Now a new client wants Jess to join him at a remote destination with a unique request – he’s a writer and wants Jess to act out his novel’s premise to help ‘find’ the ending.

Follow Her Finds Novel Ways to Twist Familiar Set-Ups

With social media horror growing as a subgenre, we’ve already seen a few different angles adopted by filmmakers. Writer Dani Barker – pulling double duty playing ‘Jess Peters – situates Follow Her among the peripheries of these other movies. That is, we’ve seen these plots threads before, just not quite like what plays our her. Follow Her touches on how even the briefest of social media posts can ruin lives, while also treading the familiar narrative of the ‘likes obsessed’ Internet persona. In addition, Barker’s screenplay mixes in the kink from the darker side of social media explored – albeit quite differently – in movies like Cam.

…we’ve seen these plots threads before, just not quite like what plays our her.

Where Follow Her diverges from recent examples of the subgenre is the ways in which Barker and director Sylvia Caminer tell their story. Early misdirection throws you off guard as even neophyte movie fans know nothing good will come from Jess keeping a client’s face exposed on a embarrassing video post. And a new client’s request to join him at a remote home to ‘act out’ a thriller for a working novel feels like a horror trope. In spite of these warning signs, Barker and Caminer subtly twist and swerve the story in just the smallest of unexpected directions. the results make for some truly suspenseful filmmaking.

Follow Her Overburdens Its Simple Premise Losing a Bit of its Bite

In addition to the novel plotting, Caminer shows remarkable restraint in the ways in which she generates psychological horror. Specifically, Follow Me could easily have slid into the mechanics of ‘Torture Porn’. On more than one occasion, audiences will expect ‘Tom Brady’ (the character, not the football player) to exact explicitly graphic revenge on ‘Jess’. Instead, Caminer opts to build more tension, letting audience expectations simmer. There’s a maturity to the filmmaking. Both Dani Barker and Luke Cook’s charismatic performances and the chemistry they share also add to the thriller’s suspense.

…the twist initially works as it offers biting commentary on our social media obsessions in addition to delivering shock value.

Unfortunately, Follow Me doesn’t sustain this suspense to the closing credits. At about the two-thirds point, Baker and Caminer introduce a twist that’s certainly unexpected. Moreover, the twist initially works as it offers biting commentary on our social media obsessions in addition to delivering shock value. Yet the twist overburdens a previously slim and sharp story stacking unnecessary complications onto the commentary. The result is a loss of momentum as well potentially reducing the ability of this thriller to hold up to repeat viewings. Expect a final twist at the end that feels much less shocking and ends things on a flat note.

Follow Her Still Clicks Enough ‘Likes’ Despite Losing Steam in the Finale

Despite treading increasingly familiar ground, Follow Her benefits from inventive storytelling and strong performances to mostly set itself apart. For two-thirds or so of its runtime, the subtle tension that builds as the mystery twists should have audiences inching towards the edge of their seats. And there’s some undeniable chemistry between the leads, Barker and Cook. Yet once the shock from the first big twist subside, Follow Her cools off quickly. Throw in an anti-climatic finish and the thriller falls a bit short of the expectations it previously set for itself.


Posted by

I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.