This movie brings up a few interesting questions about society and about people in general since the idea of pushing people to their breaking point and beyond is one that bears some consideration, especially given the fact that people are already questioning what’s real these days and what’s been staged for their entertainment. Follow Me, also known as No Escape, is one of the several stories out there at this time that might make people realize that art imitating life imitating art is a very real phenomenon, even if this story is an entire fabrication that doesn’t follow the found footage model. What it does do is remind moviegoers that the distinction between what is real and what is not is far too often blurred for the sake of entertaining the masses. That’s kind of the message that’s picked up when internet celebrity Cole Turner is about to celebrate his tenth year of being a big name online and is invited to Russia to take part in an escape room activity that’s supposedly one of the best in the world.
These days the term ‘escape room’ is enough to get the attention of a lot of people.
Escape rooms have been of great interest to a lot of people over the last several years since they do offer a challenge that plenty of people can’t help but enjoy as it forces them to match wits with the designers of the room. This test of wills is intoxicating to a lot of people and manages to stoke the interest of new followers every time such a show or movie comes along. But in the movies, escape rooms are often more than a little deadly since they’re often created to test people in ways that aren’t considered to be typical or safe in any way. This movie isn’t any different in that regard, but it does start to get dangerous before Cole and his friends even reach the room.
The actual room is all sorts of terrifying.
Many escape rooms are seen to be rather posh and even functional in ways that suggest that a great deal of care has been put into making them. The same can be said of the room that Cole and his friends are placed in since they’re blindfolded first and placed into situations and contraptions that make it clear that if they don’t figure the puzzle out, they won’t be moving on, at least not while they’re still breathing. Cole wakes up to find himself in a room with a corpse that he has to dig a key out of, and upon exiting the cell that he’s in, he finds his friends bound up in other contraptions as each trap is just as bad as the next. The worst, no doubt, is the one in which his girlfriend is contained, as the water in her glass box begins to rise and threatens to drown her if he can’t figure out how to get her free in time. Thankfully, Cole does manage to free all of his friends, saving his girlfriend just before it’s too late.
Things only get worse from there, which is typical.
The upside is that Cole and his friends do get to move on. The downside is that their supposed host is nowhere to be found, and only bloodstains are left behind. As they attempt to escape, they’re captured again, and only Cole is able to escape the initial recapture. As he continues to evade his captors, he eventually comes upon each of his friends being tortured in their separate rooms, as another reality star based in Russia is slowly but surely torturing them in order to make his own channel. Eventually, Cole ends up losing all of his friends, finds their host, and in a fit of rage, kills him before the host can belt out the admission that everything was fake. That tidbit comes very quickly when he sees that every last person that was involved in every altercation since their arrival in Russia is alive and well and was a part of the giant charade that was put together to celebrate his tenth year of being an online celebrity. The shock that comes to their faces when they see the bloody, beaten form of their host is enough to realize that they didn’t realize how far Cole had been pushed past his limit.
This kind of illustrates the danger of blurring the line between what’s real and what’s not.
It’s a movie, everyone gets that, but the fact remains that it’s a bit of commentary on how upping the bar when it comes to entertainment and showing people something real vs. something fake can backfire. This movie might go to certain extremes, but that’s typically done to keep the entertainment as light as possible so as to make certain that people aren’t wondering about what they’re watching.
Our obsession with online celebrities is a kind of sickness that we tend to enjoy a little too much sometimes.