Follow Me (2020)

Follow Me (aka No Escape)
Director: Will Wernick
Writer: Will Wernick
Cast: Keegan Allen, Holland Roden, Denzel Whitaker, Siya, George Janko, Ronen Rubinstein, Emilia Ares, Pasha D. Lychnikoff
Seen on: 31.8.2020

Plot:
Cole (Keegan Allen) has built a large social media following with his thrill-seeking stunts. Now that he is celebrating ten years of this, a certain tiredness has settled in and he doubts that he can still find things that really thrill him. That’s why his girlfriend Erin (Holland Roden) and his friends Thomas (Denzel Whitaker), Dam (Siya) and Dash (George Janko) have promised him the experience of a lifetime: a secret escape room in Russia. Cole is underwhelmed at first – but it soon turns out that the escape room might give him more than he bargained for.

I didn’t expect much from Follow Me and it didn’t deliver much, so I guess that’s alright. The ending does carry a little more punch than I expected, but that’s about it.

The film poster showing Erin (Holland Roden) in a water tank filled with water banging against the glass. There's a bloody handprint.
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In Dubious Battle (2016)

In Dubious Battle
Director: James Franco
Writer: Matt Rager
Based on: John Steinbeck‘s novel of the same name
Cast: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Vincent D’OnofrioSelena GomezAhna O’ReillyAnaleigh TiptonJack KehlerScott HazeSam ShepardJoel Marsh GarlandJohn SavageRobert DuvallEd HarrisJosh HutchersonJulian De NiroBryan CranstonAshley GreeneKeegan AllenZach BraffAustin Stowell
Seen on: 24.4.2017

Plot:
Jim (Nat Wolff) just joined a political party who’s goal it is to empower workers. There he meets the charismatic and politically experienced Mac (James Franco) who takes him under his wing. Together they make their way to a fruit plantation where they hope to instigate a strike without the workers noticing that that’s what they came there to do. When they hear about a case where a plantation owner (Robert Duvall) reduced the workers’ pay from 3 to 1 Dollar, they know they have their in.

In Dubious Battle profits from Steinbeck’s strength as a writer and an absolutely stellar cast that makes the film worth seeing even though Franco directing Franco is not the best thing to ever happen.

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King Cobra (2016)

King Cobra
Director: Justin Kelly
Writer: Justin Kelly
Based on: the murder of Bryan Kocis as written about in Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway’s book Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice
Cast: Garrett Clayton, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald, James Kelley, Keegan Allen, James Franco, Alicia Silverstone
Part of: Transition Festival special screening
Seen on: 19.1.2017

Plot:
Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton) comes to L.A., meets producer Stephen (Christian Slater) and quickly finds himself a rising star in the gay porn scene under the name of Brent Corrigan. Life is good for a while, but when Sean tries to get out from under Stephen’s thumb, he finds ironclad contracts and practically no wiggle room. When he is approached by Harlow (Keegan Allen) and Joe (James Franco) about making a film together, he hopes to find help to get out of those contracts. But that help might look very different from what Sean had in mind.

King Cobra was entertaining enough, but also very problematic at some points. It makes time pass quickly, but could have profited from a less sensationalizing take.

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