A film that scores major points for being unique.

by Martin Hafer

I’ll Follow You Down is certainly not a typical sort of sci-fi film. It’s a lot slower, more deliberate and a bit more cerebral than many films in the genre. But if you’re patient I think it’s well worth your time.

When the film begins, a professor goes off on a business trip and never returns. Exactly what happened and where he is now is a complete mystery, and unfortunately his family do not handle his disappearance well. The Professor’s wife, played by Gillian Anderson, becomes very depressed, and over the following dozen or so years attempts suicide repeatedly. His son Erol, played by Haley Joel Osment, is a mess as well and abandons his extremely promising career in favor of staying home and keeping an eye on his unstable mom. He’s also trying to balance a relationship with his girlfriend…and is having a poor time with all these pressures.

I’ll Follow You Down
Written & Directed by
Richie Mehta
Gillian Anderson, Haley Joel Osment, Victor Garber
Release Date
6 June 2014
Martin’s Grade: A-

As for the disappeared man’s father, Sal (Victor Gerber), he’s also got his problems. To put it bluntly, almost everyone’s a mess in I’ll Follow You Down. There’s a strange and unbelievable chance that all this mess can be avoided when Sal looks through his son’s notes and realizes that the guy might have disappeared when he tried out a time machine. He might have gone back to the 1940s and somehow never found his way back. Can he and his super-genius grandson Erol, somehow construct their own time device and prevent the disappearance in the first place…and thus save the family?

If you want a film to jump into the action, this is not a film for you. The work to create this second time machine didn’t even begin until about two-thirds of the way through the film, and many folk will be put off by this slow pace. However, I didn’t mind because once the film finally got moving, it really paid off well. The ending also manages to offer some surprises–something that seems to happen all too infrequently.

In addition to an interesting plot, I enjoyed seeing Osment perform. His career has been a bit slower of late as he’s clearly not some gifted child actor anymore. And other than his appearance in the cult hit Tusk and several TV shows, much of his recent work has been done doing voiceovers for video games or appearing in less than great movies. While not looking anything like a typical leading man, he was good in the film, as were Gerber and Anderson, who both rounded the cast of nicely. Overall, I’d recommend this film mostly because it is so unique.