This review was first published for the theatrical release of Followers.

This is an insightful, coruscating satire on social media hits every target full on the nose, painfully so. As writer and director Marcus Harben doesn’t restrict himself to the usual suspects of the content makers but the audience that feverishly power these people with their ticks, thumbs and video messages.

Jonty (Harry Jarvis) is a privileged individual who after an incident is trying to make his mark again and has a sizeable following. But there’s always more and so when the house he is sharing at university with another influencer Amber (Erin Austen), a cynical mature student Pete (Daniel Cahill) and the calculating Zauna (Loreece Harrison) seems to be haunted he decides that this is too good an opportunity and sets about trying to film the ghost.

As his followers increase so does the need for content. This leads to a mistake that sees a drop soon rectified which sees his numbers increase to the millions. Catching up in the after flow is Amber with whom he starts a relationship, Pete who while not having a following is happy piggy back on it and Zauna who taking it more seriously packs the property out with cameras so we get into a Paranormal Activity surveillance mode. All the hanging off their coattails is Becky (Nina Wadia) a counsellor whom they see as nothing more than a leech for their followers.

Followers is a good solid entry in the found-footage horror sub-genre with its merciless satire of the very peculiar (what could now be seen as a career) life of an influencer. People who to the appear to have no discernible qualities other than a vacuous self-promotion and income providers for them and their sponsors.

Both feeding off the followers, there’s little sympathy for those either as they are skewered in the cutaways as impossibly smug supposedly above it all: the faux quirky and general neediness to be heard and seen. It seems that no matter how far you think you think you are above it all, almost everyone is susceptible. That’s all good fun, what strikes a more serious tone is when Zauna asks a production assistant how she got her job, the casual response that it was like everyone else; her parents knew someone.

As to the spookiness and horror, that is integral to the story and there’s no slacking there with a vicious ghost in the home. That is very well deployed seeding a general air of dread around the place together with a few jumps and bloodletting.

Followers is out now on disc and digital download.