Fantastic Fest 2015: Owen Egerton’s “Follow” is one grim Christmas movie

Good news, Austin! Local writer, comedian and extremely busy creative person Owen Egerton’s first feature film “Follow” isn’t just “friend good,” it’s actually good.

That whoosh you hear is a sigh of relief from everyone who knows him, which is a whole lot of people in town.

"Follow"
“Follow”

Shot in Austin, (mostly in a now-demolished house in Clarksville) and based on two of Edgerton’s short stories, “Follow” takes a look at Quinn (Noah Segan) and Thana (Olivia Grace Applegate). It’s a few days before Christmas, and Quinn, a visual artist, is feeling restless. He’s tired of being in a town where nothing happens and wants to go to New York for grad school. His girlfriend has a reputation as a bit of a shut-in; his pals at the bar, including fellow bartenders Ren (Merik Tadros) and Viv (Haley Lu Richardson), who clearly has a thing for Quinn.

Thana, who has seemed a little odd from the jump, gives him a gun as an early Christmas gift. He and asks him to put it in his mouth and pull the trigger, just based on her say so.

Let’s just say things don’t go as either Quinn or Thana planned and Quinn spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out the next move, losing his mind in the process. Don Most (of “Happy Days” fame) makes a cameo as the building’s owner, local singer Southern Longoria bookends “Follow” as a young man singing Christmas carols in the neighborhood for a buck a song, and yes, since this is playing at Fantastic Fest, a dog bites it.

The tight, 74-minute psychological thriller is a stellar example of making your script fit your budget. Virtually all of the scenes take place in one house (complete with a basement, a rarity in Austin), there are a minimal number of speaking roles and Egerton himself takes a cameo as a hacked off bartender.

“Follow” screens again 8:15 p.m. Monday.

 

Author: Joe Gross

Joe Gross has covered books, movies, music and culture for the American-Statesman since 2002. He tweets at @joegross.

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