We Go On tries to exorcise fear of death by conjuring it.
We Go On is a supernatural horror film with an existential philosophical element. While the fear of death is quite natural, the film’s structure is a highly creative one, resulting in a frightening journey looking for any kind of life after death.
The fear of death and the fear of losing someone are the key elements that are represented by the two main characters creating an intimate look at personal fears and the willingness to exorcise them in extreme ways.
Miles Grissom is afraid of almost everything what all comes down to his biggest fear: death. It started when his father died in a car crash and his recurrent nightmares about driving a car and not being able to control the vehicle are relentless.
Then he decides that his fears might be controllable when he knows that death is not the end of things. He offers a reward of 30.000 dollar to the one who can prove to him that there is indeed something else after you die. Most probably resulting in the evidence of the existence of ghosts.
His concerned mother Charlotte visits him, and decides to support him on this journey. They pick three people who responded who might be legit and set off to ease their minds, each with a different hope.
Why you should watch it
The film is a very intimate watch about a troubled man who has to deal with a lot of fears to the extent that it hinders his life. Although he suffers from these anxieties like a mental illness, it is treated with respect and it is shown in a very true and realistic manner.
It’s a quiet and introvert film with no embellishments. It’s clean and simple and focuses on the main characters and the themes they each represent.
While Miles is afraid of many things it all comes down to the fear of death. Not dying per se but death itself. Not knowing what lies behind the veil of the living, makes it unbearable for him to live a normal life. While he desperately hopes life isn’t all there is and that there is something after death, his mother hopes it’s the end of things. Things should end. Her fears are about losing Miles, her constant fear about his well-being are prominent. Their search together is therefore more interesting.
While he hopes he will find prove, she is the one who is suspicious about the so-called mediums or paranormal scientists. These two different takes cause friction in the storyline but not between the two of them. Their bond is special, deep and very loving and trusting while they look out for each other. So asides from this search for ghosts, it’s also about a son and a mother.
The storyline and themes are kept simple by focusing on just one thing, finding prove for the existence of ghosts, proving it doesn’t end with death. But although the storyline stays very focused, it takes an unexpected turn for Miles, turning the existential journey into a real haunting experience. This is where the horror comes in. Horror of ghosts, the desperate clinging to life and unfinished business and horror of what people are willing to do to save their loved ones.
The themes, characters and the descent into real horror are intertwined in a highly imaginative and realistic way. It triggers real-life emotions of fears and shows what it does to people. These themes are woven into the ghost story in a focused clean way, keeping it intimate with no side lines. Everything that is shown matters to the story, the scenes are simple but detailed and add something important to the story with no irrelevant side tracks.
The film has an elusive atmosphere, due to the different approaches the scientist and the medium and the business man take. And finally the encounter with a real ghost that takes a sinister turn. The tone of the film is set by the characterization and themes, but how it all plays out keeps it interesting, so the film doesn’t become slow or maybe too bland. The structure is intriguing and unpredictable and has a few surprises up its sleeve. Especially the devastating discovery Miles makes along the way, turning his whole belief upside down.
My favorite part
The meeting with Nelson is a very well-done scene and what follows is a descent into real madness that is as scary as it is heartbreaking. It causes some tension and raises moral questions that are interesting, and conjures up real ghosts, scary scenes, some almost subliminal images and jump scares.
The bond between Charlotte and Miles is heartwarming to see. His mother who’s protective, supportive and tries to keep a clear and open mind, shows how helpful this kind of support is for Miles. Although this kind of love can also take it too far, making the film darker and grittier.
I also liked the third meeting with the business man, albeit not a meeting at all. It’s a very creative scene and not what you expected to see. This different approach to the other two meetings, each previous meeting bringing some other kind of “crazy” people, charlatans and scary horror, already differed from each other, but the third one is even more infuriating and heartbreaking for Miles. This setup is original and is a great buildup for the real horrors still to come.
Scare factor: ★★★☆☆
Drama factor: ★★★☆☆
Originality factor: ★★★★☆
Cast and crew
We Go On is directed and written by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton. It stars Clark Freeman (Miles), Annette O’Toole (Charlotte), John Glover (Dr. Ellison), Giovanna Zacarías (Josephina), Jay Dunn (Nelson) and Laura Heisler (Alice).
Duration: 90 minutes. Music: Andy Mitton. Cinematography: Jeffery Waldron. Edited by: Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton. Produced by: Logan Brown, Richard W. King, Irina Popov. Production companies: Filmed Imagination. Distributed by: Lightyear Entertainment.