The movie industry is having difficulty getting the new generation of teens into the cinema. The younger generation is more focused on video games and social media than anything else. So, how do you get these younger people interested in going to the cinema and giving you their money? Studios have been asking that question for some time, and the answer they have come up with seems to be appealing to their tastes. #Float is a movie that does just that by appealing to the Tiktoker generation.
#Float is a film directed by Zac Locke, and stars Kaya Coleman, Scarlett Sperduto, Grant Morningstar, Kate Mayhew, and Christina Nguyen. The film tells the story of a group of influencers who embark on their annual trip in commemoration of one of their dead friends. However, this year will be different as the group of friends will be chased by a strange, dark entity that might have them as the target of its hunger. The group of friends must now try to survive; their adventure turns into a nightmare.
#Float presents itself as a classic horror movie with teenagers and young adults as protagonists. This setup has been used countless times by the genre, which means that it just works. We like to see young people trying to overcome their lack of experience and come out victorious in a situation that goes way over their heads. Execution always triumphs over originality, which doesn’t really exist, so we can say that #Float starts by having an incredibly solid foundation.
Sadly, that foundation is not used in a very effective way. You see, the movie presents his group of protagonists as young, naive, ignorant, and annoying. This is the same attitude that movies like the latest Chainsaw Massacre also took in the face of trying to represent the TikTok generation on screen. They are depicted as people who are completely shallow, with basically no redeeming qualities. It is kind of over the top. I’m not saying that individuals like that don’t exist in the TikTok biosphere. They do, but putting characters like this as your main dish, isn’t very compelling.
So, instead of trying to give some humanity to these young people, who certainly have lost their way when it comes to identifying what really matters, the movie just doubles down on making them as annoying as possible. The result of this is a number of deaths that have no consequence for the story and no effect on the viewer. Horror movies have been failing at this core aspect of their storytelling too much recently. How can I care who lives and who dies if every single character is just so unlikable?
There is room for unlikable characters in storytelling, but filling your entire cast with them seems to serve the opposite objective in a horror movie. Because there is no one to root for, then the viewer ends up just wanting every character to die. There is no character that serves to push the story forward and make us feel something. Like in many other films in the genre, we have our own Final Girl in here, but unlike Sidney in Scream or Ripley in Alien, there is really nothing here to root for.
Visually, the movie also fails at using the environment where the story is set effectively. It is clear that this is not a big-budget movie, but Locke doesn’t seem to have a clear vision of what he wants or how to elevate the story to the next level using visuals. The movie feels plain and boring to look at, and adding that to the already awful cast of characters doesn’t really bode well for the movie. If at least the movie had something else to say beyond tiktokers are annoying and pathetic, then there would be something to latch onto.
The film can be appreciated with a, so bad is good kind of mindset. The plot is plagued by bizarre decisions from its characters. At points, there is definitely a disconnection between what you are seeing and what the characters are experiencing. Are these characters in the same movie you are watching? It is hard to tell, but this inconsistency of how the characters think and how they make decisions might be the worst issue with the film. What starts as frustration only degenerates into boredom.
In the end, #Float becomes a true example of wasted potential. The film had the chance to represent the TikTok generation in a more nuanced light and to make some fascinating commentary on how these people see the reality they are living in. Instead, the movie goes for the easy route and makes each character look like someone you don’t want to ever talk to. The visual display also lacks consistency and inspiration. For a movie that tries to make us excited through the deaths of the characters, there are really very few moments where you can really care for what is happening on screen.