Olivia (Addy Miller) and Claire (Elizabeth Birkner) are in a world of horror. Their father is nowhere to be found, incommunicado, somewhere out of the country, and their mother just died. They’re being handed off to an aunt that they’ve never met, in a town they’ve never been to. Everything they know about their life is completely shattered. It’s not reassuring when they arrive at their aunt’s home, to find that she isn’t answering the door. Suddenly, mysterious neighbor Charles (Philip Brodie) shows up, explaining that the girl’s aunt is “A little slow getting around”, and “not well”. Nothing about this situation is reassuring for two little girls who feel like they’re living a nightmare. Aunt Beth (Jan Broberg) may not be “well”… but it’s not her physical health that seems to be in jeopardy. She’s cold, and distant, and immediately makes it clear she doesn’t want the girls there with her. Charles tries to diffuse the situation as best he can, but Olivia and Claire know that their life is never going to be anything like it was before, and they try to suck it up to understand Aunt Beth’s rules. No walking the house at night, no going in the study, Oh, and they’ll be made to sleep in the room that used to belong to their Aunt Angela, who died tragically at a young age. A perfect recipe for perfect torture — or a perfect horror story. Even the weird attitude of Aunt Beth, and the creepy old house, can’t prepare them for the complete horror that’s about to ensue, when both Claire and Olivia feel something in the house calling to them, and they stumble upon something sinister… and the real story behind their Aunt Angela’s death. When the girls uncover one of the many covered mirrors in the house, the story unravels before them. Maybe Aunt Beth is onto something, and her paranoia and anger are for very real reasons… Reasons that will turn an already upside-down life completely inside out. BEHIND YOU is a classic paranormal thrillfest. While it may not be innovative, it’s an enjoyable dance on a very familiar stage. Both Miller and Birkner give solid performances, well beyond their years. Brodie and Broberg provide an incredible support system for these two performances, and have some stellar moments of their own – particularly Broberg. BEHIND YOU is female driven horror, and respects its female leads, which is exciting to see from a largely male production team. Without the strength of these women (or, more honestly, girls) this film would have a much darker ending.
The house from BEHIND YOU is its own character in this story, and it is formidable. Perfectly haunted atmosphere, stunning and scary tricks of light, and just enough off-putting grime help throw both our characters and us as the viewer of the scent of the sinister truth. Lighting is also a huge character in this piece, as are the mirrors throughout the house. Without these factors most scares would fall horribly flat. In fact, I’d say the strongest thing the fear-factor of this movie has going for it is the unique use of mirrors and light to create scares, or the hint of a scare. Brilliant and subtle creature work (James Christian Morris) carries the rest of the weight of the scares, and beautifully so. BEHIND YOU will make your skin crawl, in the best way. A completely satisfying haunted house and possession story, told with gusto. Great performances from the stellar cast carry us through any predictability or slow moments. BEHIND YOU will undoubtedly take its place amongst the horror lexicon, and rightfully so.
Makeup Artist, Monster Maker, Educator, Producer, Haunt-lover, and all around Halloween freak. When Miranda isn't watching horror films, she's making them happen. When she's not doing either of those things, she's probably dreaming about them. Or baking cookies.