Actors: Haley Joel Osment, Rufus Sewell, Victor Garber, John Paul Ruttan
Director: Richie Mehta
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Well Go USA
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Run Time: 92 minutes
If you were to remove all of the spectacle of action and humor from Back to the Future and the mystery and intelligence of Donnie Darko, the remainder of what was left would likely resemble all that is contained in I’ll Follow You Down. It is a cookie-cutter time-travel narrative, utilizing nothing but the melodrama to tell its story. I can’t think of a more straight-forward telling of a disjointed timeline, and the result feels like a short film dragged out to feature film length. Because little happens in the film, there is no need for impressive special effects or action sequences of any kind. This is not always necessarily a bad thing, but it is noticeable in a film void of any type of audience enjoyment.
This film also marks a return to screen for former child star, Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense), who plays a physics student. Erol (Osment) displays intelligence that rivals his professor/grandfather (Victor Garber), who brings him into his secret experiment in order to discover the cause of Erol’s father’s disappearance years earlier. The film doesn’t question the possibility of time travel, as much as investigate the repercussions it would have on the current timeline. By choosing to travel back to find his father, Erol risks losing the aspects of his life that have worked out. As the film plays out, this decision is made easier with a streak of losses, making filmmaker Richie Mehta’s screenplay feel highly manipulative and predictable.
In the end, there are only a few minutes of this film actually spent time traveling. The majority of the 93-minute running time is invested in variations on the same debate over the risks of attempting to time travel. This method relies far too heavily on the repetitive dialogue and various montage sequences of generic lab work. Most of the veteran cast members (including Garber, Gillian Anderson, and Rufus Sewell) handle the clunky screenplay adequately, but Osment seems to have lost some of that spark that made him an effective child actor. It is also difficult not to notice the fact that he has put on some weight with age, which can simply be uncomfortable to watch with previous images of a skinny little kid stuck in head.
The Blu-ray release includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, as well as deleted scenes and a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 4/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5.5/10
Historical Significance: 2.5/10