Combining different genres has always been used to create new and interesting stories, it’s been happening since stories began, but I Will Follow You Into The Dark is the first Indie Romantic Haunted House cross-over I’ve come across.
The movie follows the romantically skeptical Sophia (Mischa Barton) avoiding love after the death of her father; however, she ends up falling for the charming Adam (Ryan Eggold) in a standard ‘Romantic Flick’ cliché. The film wanders along as a fairly mediocre romantic drama (without any sort of set-up for horror) when out of nowhere Adam disappears in the night, leaving behind a pool of blood. With only the help of a couple of friends, Sophia has to brave the haunted top floor of the hotel to find her new boyfriend.
On paper, that premise sounds really interesting. I like the idea of the story they were going for, the two genres seem to complement each other. However, in practice, the horror part of the film comes in so late and so strong that all of a sudden it feels like a completely different movie. A lot of the threads that were set up in the first part are completely dropped and forgotten when the ghosts turn up.
The horror element is more of a plot point than a genre. Whereas in most romances, the hero would have to face their self-confidence, commitment issues or their ex as an obstacle before they have their happily ever after; Sophia has to face a floor of ghosts. It feels very disjointed to have this scary sequence swerve in, but it is more threatening than Hugh Grant having awkward conversation or running through the rain, so it really exemplifies the sacrifice she needs to make for the man she loves.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t convinced that Sofia and Adam actually liked each other. Most of the time they spend together, he is just trying to convince her that love is OK. After that we just see a few montages of them being happy and Sophia letting go of her skepticism. Maybe it’s because the montage shows the same few moments over and over again, or because they have quite an awkward chemistry, but it barely feels like a week has past, so I really don’t understand why she would risk her life to follow Adam into the dark.
Into the Dark could have been an interesting mix of romance and horror. However, it never really committed fully to either and left the whole film feeling unfulfilled and unconvincing. If you watch it as a sweet indie-romance and just accept the haunted house as a character’s obstacle, you might be charmed by this tale of what someone will sacrifice to be in love.
Into The Dark is out now in the UK on DVD and Blu-Ray