Actor John Cusack says there’s an easy way to tell if a script isn’t any good. “If you see the words ‘there’s an eerie silence’ a few times in a script, that’s a clue,” he says.
It’s a safe bet those very words are all over Mark Edwin Robinson’s script for I Will Follow You Into the Dark.
Robinson, who also directed the film, apparently believes the best way to jolt an audience is to have several sequences where darkness and silence linger on the screen before having loud music wake viewers up from a well-deserved slumber. After a few too many unwanted crescendos, he becomes a cinematic boy who cried wolf. For all of the sonic din and dim photography to be found in I Will Follow You Into the Dark, there are few genuine chills.
There is at least some unintentional laughter to break the tedium. Watching star Mischa Barton pretend to be suffocating from some supernatural force or simply attempting to look scared at images that are less frightening than most people’s wireless bills is pretty damn funny. Somehow, it’s doubtful that Robinson was aiming for satire.
He clearly seems to be aiming for something more than conventional supernatural thrillers but ends up having neither the gravitas for drama nor the ability to convey anything other than a mild jolt of static.
Sophia Monet (Barton) is going through an existential crisis because both her father(Richard Johnson) and her mother have died recently. It’s especially traumatic for her because her dad was a pastor who had abandoned his faith shortly before his death but only after delivering a dramatic soliloquy under a lot of prosthetic makeup.
Sophia is so distraught that when she delivers his eulogy in the church he founded, she not only denies the existence of God, she even drops an F-bomb in the process in front of her dad’s old flock.
Like legions of cinematic fools before her, she invites the wrath of unseen forces by forcefully denying them. (Hasn’t she seen what happened to Dana Andrews in Curse of the Demon?)
After a seemingly endless series of shots of Sophia moping, viewers are treated to montages of her sharing romantic moments with a fellow named Adam (Ryan Eggold) who literally runs into her in the street. Apparently, Robinson can’t even get “meet cute” scenes right.
All of this leads to an other-worldly climax that’s more silly than shocking. A better film might consist of nothing but eerie silence, untainted by this clumsy dialogue and plotting.
I Will Follow You Into the Dark 68 Cast: Mischa Barton, Ryan Eggold, Leah Pipes, Richard Johnson, Jaz Martin, Melinda Y. Cohen Director: Mark Edwin Robinson Rating: Not rated Running Time: 111 minutes
MovieStyle, Pages 35 on 10/11/2013
Print Headline: I Will Follow You Into the Dark