I WILL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE DARK is an interesting film. It doesn’t quite slap you in the face with terror or wet the bloodlust of the gore hound, but does offer up some rich characters and solid acting, especially from Mischa Barton.
The young actress has had her reputation tarnished a bit in the tabloids over the years which is a damn shame since people tend to forget just how good of an actress she really can be. She carries the picture with ease and I found her character unique with an interesting outlook. Director Mark Edwin Robinson knows his strong point is creating rich and thoughtful characters and does so fantastically in the film. So is this a great, must-see film? Not exactly, but it does have much to offer.
Sophia Monet (Mischa Barton) is a young woman who has lost everyone she has ever cared about. Her mother suffered through cancer and her father passed away just six months after her. He had always instilled faith in her, but as the losses have taken their toll, she has lost all of it.
In fact, she has given up on being close to anyone in fear of losing them too. Then she meets Adam (Ryan Eggold), a great guy and everything she could have ever wanted but she’s reluctant to let him get to close. Afraid of missing out on something amazing, she gives her heart, body, and soul to him. Things are great until one night when Sophia wakes up, Adam is missing and blood is everywhere. The old apartment building he lives in has long been rumored to be haunted on the upper floors. All the evidence points to the mysterious top floor and she enlists the help of Adam’s roommate Astrid (Leah Pipes) and her friend Sam (Jaz Martin) to find him. The terrifying truth lies above them but it may already be too late.
Part of what makes the film interesting is the troubled lead character. Sophia is unique, vulnerable, with a strong set of beliefs. Her outlook on life is so dour that it looks like it may never change. Mischa Barton really brings her A game to the role and she’s a fantastic lead. I really would like to see her getting more roles like this to show all the skeptics she’s the real thing. The romance between Sophia and Adam is set up believably and the chemistry is undeniable.
The first half of the film focuses on the relationship and how Sophia is feeling again. Things take a turn and the tension and scares are amped up. We’re mostly given some solid jump-scares with music and sound playing a major role. There’s some decent effects work but since this appears to have had a tiny budget, there’s only so much to see. There’s a satisfying conclusion and some really interesting plot points which are touched upon.
I liked the film well enough but there’s one major issue though that hurts the overall experience. The film should have been trimmed down a tad bit. Ideas are repeated and there’s far too much filler. If Robinson had made a few more editorial decisions, then maybe this could have been a tighter film. It’s not bad by any means, it just could have been better. Mischa Barton (as well as the rest of the cast) really stepped it up and for the performances alone, the film is worth watching. Robinson needs to show some constraint in a few areas and be more outrageous in others. It feels much more like a chick flick than a horror film so this could very much be a safe bet for a couple’s night. It really is the perfect recipe and has just enough to satisfy both. This is perfect for a cold and rainy night, so sucker your lady (or fella) into watching I WILL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE DARK. *** (out of 5)