Bad Movies Beware!
Have you ever been followed home by a puppy?
Do some real jogging down memory lane here, people. That little puppy that followed you home. You had high hopes of keeping him, and Mom and Dad said it was okay! So you raised and nurtured that dog only to find out he was a s**t machine spawned from the depths of Satan’s lower intestine.
Followed Home is that puppy.
Trailer Park of Terror left me with some growing faith in humanity. Well, filmmaking at least. Finally, someone knows they’re filming absolute crap, so they embrace it and roll. It’s like that quiet new kid in school that ends up being a lot of fun and popular with everyone because of his quirks.
Followed Home is that loud-mouthed fat kid that wears the same Star Wars shirt and sweat pants EVERY DAY, smells like sour milk, and slapped your girlfriend on the ass. You want to hit him, but you’re afraid you might get some on you.
I had to brace myself because it’s another Handy-cam flick. No, seriously. It looks like it was filmed on a cell phone. One of those. So, for this review, I’m going to refer to the Slasher Flick Rules during the Verdict.
The girl in the opening sequence SUCKS. No, not in a good way, ya perv. She’s on the phone, but she’s delivering the dialogue way too fast. It’s like she’s not letting the other person talk, but she’s asking questions and making comments as if they’re also going a hundred miles an hour.
Just when I was about to shoot myself up with some heroin to relieve the pain, the killer shows up and puts an end to her wooden acting. He tackles her to the floor and stabs her about eight times before getting up and walking away. There’s some blood, but not as much as there should be.
Amazingly, the girl gets up and runs out of the house and down the street…wait, what the hell? You mean to tell me that someone could feasibly survive being stabbed in the chest eight times and have enough in them to jog down the street yelling for help?
Flashback to the previous day. Yes, this movie jumps around a bit, so try to keep up.
We meet Sam and his best friend Eddie. They own a marketing firmand have one employee named Katie. Katie and Eddie continuously make eyes at each other, and the guys have invited her along with them for a weekend getaway at a cabin in the mountains. Sam’s girlfriend, Lauren is also along for the ride.
The trip begins innocently enough after much character development and meaningful conversation (please shoot me in the face). Everyone talks about their hopes, dreams, life, feelings, and anything else that the writer could think of to make the characters totally likable and unbelievably irrelevant.
Who is the overall main character? WTF knows?!
The group arrives at the secluded cabin vacation spot…in the middle of suburbia complete with active traffic on the roads. What the hell? Kind of like Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned. I mean, how the hell did they secure this spot anyway? “Hey dude, can we shoot a movie at your place? My mom said no ‘cause of all the naked people and toilet paper from last time.”
Let the drinking games commence! And be brief! And show us how much of a lightweight Eddie is! WHY THE F**K HASN’T ANYONE ELSE DIED?! This is supposed to be a SLASHER flick! And don’t feed me the whole “Well, we never said it was” bulls**t. You opened it with a chick getting stabbed repeatedly by a dude in all black wearing a hoodie. If you didn’t want it to be a slasher flick, he should’ve shot her.
ANYWHO, we are now almost a half hour into this 90-minute snore-fest before the s*t hits the fan. The girl from the opening wanders in and begs the group for help. They take her to the hospital where we learn that her name is Abby and that she died shortly after their arrival.
Sam and Eddie decide to end the vacation, and the girls agree. They head back home, and we get another twenty minutes of drama, feelings, and bad acting. Let me consolidate because it takes this movie another twenty minutes to show us this crap. Lauren breaks it off with Sam, Eddie tells Katie that they need to not be a couple. Sad stuff, sad stuff, sad stuff. Lauren goes jogging.
Oh God. Vacancy wasn’t this bad.
The killer FINALLY shows back up. He stalks Lauren while she spends the musical montage jogging in the park. He nabs her and yanks her out of the shot. Did he stab her? Hack her up? We never see her death, so the world will never know.
Next up is Eddie. The killer is waiting in Eddie’s home, and strangles him. Okay, I get it. Gotta keep it interesting. Hell, even Jason Voorhees strangled one or two of his victims. Not a big deal. We should get some gore soon.
Sam and Katie decide to go grab a drink during lunch break and end up having sex in the backseat of her car. Katie tells him that she doesn’t want things to be weird between them, and Sam tells her that it was just two friends helping each other through a rough time.
So far, by process of elimination, we’ve determined that neither Eddie nor Lauren was the main, which leaves Sam and Katie.
Oops, maybe not Katie. She goes out to her car and gets strangled by the killer. Yes. Strangled. Really? Two back to back? Where the hell is the knife from the opening?! Where the hell is the blood?!
Sam is alone in the office flashing back to when he and Eddie first opened the business. After a whole scene of them deciding to open up and be entrepreneurs, the killer wanders into the office and corners Sam.
Wait, WHAT THE F**K?!
Where the hell is the final battle?! The climactic fight between the main character and the villain? This movie should’ve been AT LEAST another ten minutes long. I mean, thank God it’s not, but still.
Wait, what’s happening? Okay, montage of countryside accompanied by music. Now city streets. Now we get some dingbat doing her video blog. Wait, what?! What the hell does she have to do with ANYTHING? Josie? No, shaddap! No, really. Nobody cares about your boyfriend issues.
Josie gets up and investigates a noise in the house. Oh, good. It’s the killer. He grabs her, and we get the credits. Again. This time in rolling form.
VERDICT: ANOTHER SHART ON THE WALL.
What. The. HELL.
You know what’s bulls**t? Starting a story and establishing it in one genre, doing a complete genre flip immediately after (well, not immediately after in the case of this slug), and not ending the movie AT ALL.
I mean, I get it. Not all movies are going to have that tight, well-rounded ending. Everyone dies, killer goes free, fine. But these films STILL have an ending point that is clearly established.
This diaper turd is more of a “Day in the Life” flick.
The acting, the camera work, the sound, ALL of it is unforgivably bad. I don’t care if it’s indie, I’ve seen indie films that got AT LEAST the acting and camera work bearable if not good. Don’t get me wrong, I love indie flicks. But at least make an EFFORT.
Let’s look at the Rules of a Slasher Flick, shall we?
Rule #1: Make it bloody. Make it over the top. Someone gets stabbed eight times with a knife, there’s going to be blood all over the place, and they likely won’t get up and run down the street shouting for help in a full voice. Make it over the top. Need a good point of reference? How about two? The Friday the 13th and Hatchet movies come to mind. Frankly, watching the effects at work is fun for fans of the genre.
Outside of the opening sequence, this movie has no blood. The killer goes from a knife-wielding maniac to a strangler. Dude, grow some balls and get your hands dirty.
Rule #2: Boobies. We need them, we love them, and we expect them when watching a movie about young people getting stalked by a killer. This movie has nary a nipple in it. Nothing. Even the sex scene between Katie and Sam was fully clothed. Hey, if you’re uncomfortable getting topless in front of the camera, fine. Get a stand-in.
Once again: HOW DO YOU SCREW UP FAKE SCREWING?!
Rule #3: There needs to be at least ONE character that we want killed. The bitchy cheerleader, the egotistical jock, SOMEBODY that makes us cheer and happy dance when the killer pulls the person’s tongue out through their a**hole. All of the characters in Followed Home are not only likable, but also have some depth to them. The “Meatbag” concept kind of falls in line with this rule. There’s supposed to be at least ONE character that we don’t want killed and ONE whose murder is intended to be a drinking game.
If you’re going to break the rules, fine. Just make sure you do it in a way that keeps your story interesting. In one review I read, Followed Home was compared to wiping one’s a** with a sock. I have to agree.
However, I think using film and pretending it’s a movie takes the cake.