Eerie chiller We Go On premieres exclusively on Shudder on February 23
Andy Mitton and Jess Holland’s eerie Yellowbrickroad was a festival hit and deserved the many critic and audience accolades it received. Their follow-up is this supernatural mood piece and while not quite as effective as its predecessor, this duo clearly have an uncanny way to make the natural world feel haunted. In We Go On, there is indeed legitimate hauntings going on, but that overtly spooky stuff doesn’t sprint into action until its second half. And yet, the movie feels off and affected right from the get go. It’s in the way they use locations but refuse to use notable locations (the film is set in LA though it feels like a nightmare version of the city), trends or dates. The universe that We Go On takes place in seems sculpted exclusively for the smattering of characters that — whether living or dead — drift through the narrative like ghosts.
Vaguely unstable commercial-editor Miles Grissom has become fixated on death since the passing of his father and now the situation is critical. He’s afraid of everything. Of walking. Driving. Leaving the house. Miles opts to assuage his phobia by placing an ad offering a substantial amount of money to anyone who can prove that there is an afterlife or, better yet, show him a ghost. After recieving a landslide of responses, Miles whittles down the list to few key people and much of the movie sees the young man – sometimes accompanied by his doting mother (played by the amazing Annette O’Toole who shines here) – bumping from one charlatan and pretender to the next, save for a wild-eyed Spanish psychic (Giovanna Zararius, who is wayyyyy over the top) who seems to have totally tapped into the limbo where the restless dead still walk.
Eventually, Miles meets a pasty, twitchy runway worker named Nelson (Jay Dunn) who promises that — for a price — he’ll show him that which he cannot unsee. That’s when the icky, dread-laced movie suddenly becomes the ghost story it promises to be. Suddenly Miles is haunted by a dead man, who shadows and stalks his every move, driving him closer to the edge.
We Go On is a simple, effective story of the living making peace with the dead and it works. Grissom is fine in a difficult role as Miles is, well, kind of a drip. He’s weak and ineffectual and a lesser actor might make him unlikable. He’s propped up by O’Toole who is delivers the movie’s strongest turn as the mother who has tried to protect her son for years and now is faced with doing the unthinkable to keep that vigil going.
To fully appreciate We Go On, you have to kind of surrender to it. To fall into it and let the talented directors simply guide you through their carefully controlled landscape. And if you do let the film grab you, you might – like Miles – find its presence hard to shake.
We Go On premieres February 23rd on Shudder.