Lacey Willowbrook (Jessica Bishop) is a social media influencer who tells her followers about the power of good mental health. Portraying herself as a vision of wellness and beauty, she even invites some of her followers to her home so that she can help them.
That’s where she brings Jordan (Erin Day), Ace (Lawrence J. Hughes) Dakota (Chris Boudreaux), Syd (Mar Sudac) and Brandi (Jay White). However, once they get there despite her welcoming tone it seems that Lacey is determined to give them the help that they need but not the help that they want.
The Willowbrook is a slow burn horror movie about a social media influencer whose influence becomes a little too powerful. Drawn out for just over an hour, the movie follows the people who she has let into her home.
Meaning that most of the running time deals with the guests trying to figure out what to do with their lives, how to get better and what exactly Lacey has planned.
As the titular social media guru, Jessica Bishop plays her role well by giving a performance that remains at just the right level of positivity and unhinged menace without overplaying it. However, for those who were expecting a more straightforward horror movie then they may be disappointed. That’s because The Willowbrook spends more time with its characters than it does with the scares.
In fact, there’s a lot of time where the story focuses on Lacey’s followers invited to her house while they wait around for their idol to give them the help that they think they so desperately need. Thus giving the audience time to think about when the movie is going to start to do anything significant in terms of plot.
Also, it doesn’t play into The Willowbrook’s favour that there have already been a lot of social media horror movies come out such as Unfriended and Spree which say more about the pull of social media and how it damages people. In the end, it feels like The Willowbrook has nothing new to say and it takes a long time to say it. Which for a movie that is just over an hour, may suggest that its audience turns off and does something more productive instead.
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