Screamfest 2017 Double-Feature Review: ‘Double Date’ & ‘Like.Share.Follow’

On Wednesday, October 18th, I attended one of the final days of Screamfest 2017, one of the biggest horror film festivals in the country. If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage of the event, this is essentially one of the premier festivals for independent horror filmmakers. We’ve already covered several films from the festival – Dead Ant, Trench 11, and Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End – and for the last official night of indie films at Screamfest, I saw two more movies: Like.Share.Follow. and Double Date. Let’s talk about them, shall we? 

REVIEW #1: Like. Share.Follow.

The first film that I saw on Wednesday was Screamfest’s Like.Share.Follow., directed by Glenn Gers and starring Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash TV series), Ema Horvath (The Gallows 2 2018), Nate Hartley (Role Models 2008), and Abraham Benrubi (ER TV series). The plot revolves around Garrett (Lonsdale), a rising YouTube star with 2 million subscribers, who meets and opens himself up to Shell (Horvath), a fan of his channel who turns out to have more than a couple of issues with stalking. What starts as a sweet, romantic relationship turns into a battle for Garrett’s life, and whether or not he can rid himself of his biggest fan.

Like a modern-age Misery, Like.Share.Follow. centers around the pratfalls of interacting with fans. Garrett has “The Rule” that he generally follows – to keep a safe distance between his channel/personality and his fans. However, due to certain circumstances, he finds himself opening up to Shell, which proves to be, shall I say, a little bit of a mistake in the long run.

I make the comparison to Misery because both main characters are initially presented as self-centered egotists who generally only think of themselves and are faced with a challenge that will make or break their sanities, much less their careers. However, as much as I love Lonsdale, he just doesn’t have a lot of material to work with here. His character is the classic, bland YouTube model, and we don’t really have time to get invested in who he is or what he does (outside of how it pertains to moving the plot along) before his run-in with Shell, who has a few moments of unhinged fun but otherwise generally plays the classic, run-of-the-mill stalker part.

While there is an interesting set piece for the film’s final act, the main issue with Like.Share.Follow. is its play-it-safe approach to horror. It seems like it’s going for more of the psychological horror niche here. Unfortunately, the film just doesn’t have a strong enough script to let any of its actors really dig into the emotions of their roles, something that a good psychological horror movie will always demand of its players. Again, all parties invo

lved try their best here, but there’s just not a lot to go on, putting this film squarely into the millennial horror genre, a genre that only seems to keep growing…

Conclusion:

A typical Fatal Attraction-esque psychological horror romp, Screamfest’s Like.Share.Follow. has plenty of solid actors, but not enough writing chops to keep its pulse up. If you’re into stalker movies and like the prospect of gazing upon Keiynan Lonsdale’s face bathed in computer monitor glow for an hour and a half, then you should check this film out. All others need not apply.

 

REVIEW #2: Double Date

The second film of the night was Screamfest’s Double Date, directed by Benjamin Barfoot and starring Danny Morgan (On the Road 2012), Georgia Groome (London to Brighton 2006), Michael Socha (This Is England 2006) and Kelly Wenham (Payback Season 2012).

Similar to Like.Share.Follow., Double Date tells a story that we’ve heard many times before: Jim (Morgan), a virginal guy who can’t seem to get a good date, finally finds a potential match in a pair of sisters, Kitty (Groome) and Lulu (Wenham), who are actually serial killers. Enlisting the help of his pseudo-player friend, Alex (Socha), Jim prepares for his big night, having no idea what he’s about to get himself into.

Here’s the thing, though: this movie is fun. Like really, really fun. It advertises itself as a horror comedy, and I’m glad that Barfoot took the direction as such, because Double Date‘s premise is one that has been done before, but in total seriousness (Audition, anyone?). So seeing this film as a more tongue-in-cheek venture was a pleasant surprise.

The production on this film felt very polished and purposeful as well. The editing was very reminiscent of Edgar Wright’s films (particularly Shawn of the Dead), and the fact that the film is English only further cements the comparison. However, it’s a comparison meant as the highest compliment, because this movie manages to take a done-to-death premise and make it come alive.

A big part in Double Date’s success is the acting and the characters that these actors portray. Everyone feels like a real person, despite the completely ridiculous situations that go down in this film. There are real connections that end up forming between a few of the characters, and by the time we get to the film’s big action sequence (possibly one of the best parts of the whole movie), I felt real stakes, in spite of the comedic tone. It takes real skill to be able to pull something like that off, and Double Date delivers.

Conclusion:

A surprise delight, Screamfest’s Double Date is a satisfying horror comedy with excellent acting, great pacing, and enough wit to keep you laughing through the blood. The film is still on the festival circuit but is worthy of a wide release, and deserves your attention when it gets one. You won’t be disappointed.

About Seth Hansen

Seth is a writer and musician living in Los Angeles. When not explaining to strangers why John Carpenter's The Thing is the greatest horror movie ever made (trust me, it is), he's usually playing violin or hanging out in record store clearance sections. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook!

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