Horror movies have evolved since the days of Nosferatu and House on Haunted Hill. Simple, clean-cut scary stories just don’t do it anymore. If this movie was made maybe 20 years ago, it probably would’ve been a moderate success. Nothing that would’ve gotten a legacy or lived on for many years with a fanbase, but certainly scare worthy. However, we’ve now become immune to generic spooks and scares. Not to mention that the act of connecting horror to an emotional event driving a character is pretty much in 90% of the horror movies made today. If a film wants to be remembered, it has to embrace whatever tone it gives (intentional or not) or really amp up the blood and drama. When I think back on Behind You, there is really nothing wrong with it. It has flaws, sure, but nothing that obviously stands out as a problem.
The performances are good, the suspense is balanced, the creepy spirit is creepy, and it explores an Old World superstition. It should be good but for some reason, it’s not. Its failure is a collaboration effort.
Andrew Mecham and Matthew Whedon write and direct a film about an evil trapped behind a mirror. The horror of mirrors is commonplace among the horror genre; A Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead II, Night of the Demons, Ju-on: The Grudge, and of course Mirrors. Needless to say, in the world of horror, mirrors are scary objects. Behind You goes a little beyond the usual “demons are in the mirror” trick though. It tells the story of two young girls who are sent to temporarily live with their estranged aunt after their mother dies. They discover that all the mirrors in their aunt’s house are covered up. Inside lives a demon who desires a flesh and skin host to carry him into the physical world.
Behind You doesn’t have much thought and falls flat
Behind You has the set up for a decent horror story but it, unfortunately, peters out by the middle. Most of the plot is foreseeable. Anyone watching this film with their full attention can predict every move every character makes from the moment the film starts. Not a bad thing in the beginning because many films of certain genres start out the same. It’s the ending that tries to reach new ground. But not Behind You. They keep things pretty vanilla.
The biggest issue is probably the emotional subplots clogging up everything. As you can imagine, the demons haunting the mirrors, creeping up behind people, are representations of the hauntings of a character’s past. However, there is not enough development to properly see it through. Each character in the film suffers from a loss. Whether a family member or their very innocence, they’re all suffering. Unfortunately, none of these losses go past the first stage of development where it is simply used as a plot device.
To sum it up, Behind You is entertaining but very forgettable. It takes itself way too seriously, which is disappointing when combined with its straightforward plot that we’ve seen many times before. I feel like it’s trying to say something but just doesn’t know how. The highlights are the occasional glimpses of the spirit, that we never see enough of, and the score by Christian Davis. You can read my interview with Davis here.(2 / 5)
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