Film Review Follow Me (2021): Escape Room in the Age of Social Media


The film Follow Me, also known as No Escape is the latest work by Will Wernick, known for the thriller Escape Room (2016) . Not so far from the film that catapulted his name, Will returned to directing and writing a film that both revolved around the escape room.

This film focuses on the story of Cole (Keegan Allen), a vlogger who creates mystery content to one who challenges danger called Escape From Reality. To celebrate 10 years of the existence of his video channel, he and his friends visited Russia to create exclusive escape room content.

He goes with his girlfriend, Erin (Holland Rogen), and Dash (George Janko) and Sam (Siya) who also invite Cole’s childhood friend Thomas (Denzel Whitaker) as one of the surprises for the celebration.

They meet Alexei (Ronen Rubenstein), the son of a Russian tycoon who reveals that he is a big fan of Cole’s vlogs. So he gave Cole and his friends the opportunity to experience an escape room specially designed just for them.

Escape room thriller style
Follow Me carries a thriller style with the same theme as Will’s most memorable film, namely the escape room, where participants will be locked in a closed room or place and must solve the mystery in order to get out of the room within the allotted time.

In this film, Will still relies on the suspense style and puzzles that must be solved at the risk of his life. Shows the vulnerability of humans and how they will look for various ways to escape when faced with death.

For those of you who want to watch a spectacle full of surprises and suspense, and seasoned with scenes full of blood, maybe Follow Me can be an option. But it seems that’s all this 86-minute film has to offer.

The plot revolves around showing what challenges Cole and his four friends will go through where they are caught in a situation between life and death. Lulled by the set up that is too long, until finally finished in the blink of an eye.

If other thriller films will provide various backgrounds in order to make a more plausible plot, but not with this film. There are a lot of plot holes and out-of-nowhere scenes , so it takes attention to be able to focus on the problems experienced by Cole and the others.

Not to mention the characters that are suddenly introduced at the beginning without getting enough background. Of the five protagonists, the audience is only brought into the life of Cole and a little flashback of his relationship with Erin. The other three characters? Just act as ‘Cole’s friend’ only.

Social media craze
Social media and all the craziness in it is still a theme that is often raised in movies and TV series today. Will Wernick is no exception as a director and scriptwriter.

Will describes how those who work as content creators are always looking for ways to increase the number of followers, views, and engagement by presenting exclusive, sometimes even extreme, content.

Cole’s attachment to fans and social media keeps him from paying attention to what is happening around him. Although that shifts as the film progresses, in which he finally realizes how important his friends are.

But then again, movies bring pranks and social media content in a very extreme version. Describing how oneself and even human life is only part of the views for fame to the coffers of money for personal gain.

A ‘surprising’ ending
Of the many problems that occur throughout the story, there are more that are confusing at the last minute of this film. Like a roller coaster that has already taken steps to descend to the bottom, but instead falls freely without any fun, leaving only curiosity and thousands of questions.

For those who really followed this film from the beginning, of course, you can guess where the plot will flow. And true, the guess at the beginning was never wrong; the ending is prepared in a plot twist that is very surprising, even ‘confusing’.

Starting from the direction of the plot twist which is always emphasized in the first part of the film to the series of plot after plot that seems to jump up and down. In addition, the bloody battle that should have been stopped, raises a question mark that will always accompany the audience when the final credits roll along with the question, “why?”.

The film Follow is more fun as a casual meal, without having to take into account what is behind the mystery that is presented. Because on the one hand, this film has the same standard as a class B light film belonging to a streaming platform like Netflix or Hulu.

The conflict given is too shallow. Likewise the depth of the characters and plots presented. Quite intense in the middle with a third act full of blood. But it doesn’t give the impression of “wow” except for a plot twist that has even been heralded since the beginning of the story.