May 23, 2024

WE GO ON and Elevated Expectations

2016 / 89 min
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

Writer/directors Andy Mitton & Jesse Holland’s debut feature film, YellowBrickRoad, was a wonderful surprise, though I didn’t initially think so. Not expecting much to begin with, my first impression was that it was fairly well made on a low budget and watchable, but narratively muddled and somewhat hampered by bland characters. 

But damn, if I didn’t find myself thinking about that movie the rest of the night. Now, I appreciate YellowBrickRoad more for how it made me feel than what it had to say, and I often recommend it to horror fans looking for something off the beaten path.

So I had somewhat elevated expectations for their next horror film, We Go On. Unlike their last one, this actually features some familiar faces in the cast. But despite Annette O’Toole’s top billing, the actual star is Clark Freeman as Miles, a recluse who’s phobic of damn near everything. What he fears most, however, is the finality of death. So he takes out an ad offering $30,000 to anyone who can provide irrefutable proof of an afterlife.

As his fiercely protective mother (O’Toole) suspected, thousands respond to the ad, mostly crackpots and con artists, the latter exemplified by a meeting with an unscrupulous doctor (played by John Glover in what’s essentially a glorified cameo). However, the narrative takes a dramatic turn when Miles meets friendly airport groundskeeper Nelson (Jay Dunn), who leads him to a dead body in an abandoned house. That corpse also happens to be Nelson.

How we all feel when using public transportation.

Miles returns to visit a medium he initially dismissed, Josephine (Giovanna Zacharias), who enlightens him on the true nature of ghosts and, more ominously, how to get rid of them. Conceptually, it’s an interesting idea, which Mitton & Holland explore pretty effectively, throwing in a couple of surprises along the way. However, We Go On is never as intriguingly ambiguous or atmospheric as YellowBrickRoad, nor does it methodically build a similar sense of dread. This comparatively straightforward story is enjoyable in the moment, but despite a few nifty twists, there is nothing that really sticks with the viewer. 

Or maybe my expectations were simply too high. We Go On is certainly a well-written, effectively paced little horror film with decent performances, but I didn’t think about it much afterwards. Still, it’s worth seeing, with the directing team once again managing quite a bit on a limited budget.

This Blu-ray re-release from Lightyear Entertainment is subtitled “Remastered,” apparently with upgraded visual effects (though the film isn't really effects-heavy to begin with). Having never seen the original version, I can’t attest to any improvement, but this version more-or-less looks okay.

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