We Go On (2016) [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2016]

we-go-on-posterMiles Grissom wants to know what comes after death to help ease his crippling fear of it and other phobias.  With the help of his mother, her go through tons of submissions to his ad in the newspaper offering $30,000 to whoever can prove to him that there is something after death. Written and directed by the team of Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland, they create a simple premise, fear of death, and work it into an appealing story with a lead character that is representative of many people with crippling fears or even anxiety.  This character feels like a person some of the viewers might know, having issues and trying to overcome them.  His mother is a by nagging and overbearing but she does feel like many people’s moms.  She wants what is best for him and will stop at almost nothing to make sure he is not swindled in his search for the truth.

The fact that she has her issues as well adds to the character and makes it more than just a nag or an annoyance.  The other characters in the film are also decently written and feel right in place in his hunt for the truth. The cast lead by Clark Freeman as Miles Grissom and Annette O’Toole as his mom, the both of them giving good performances, O’Toole coming off a bit annoying which is the point here and Freeman getting the most to work with as his character has a good evolution and emotional range.  He does well in this part, showing a range and nuances while working in a story about spirits.  Also notable is Giovanna Zacarías as Josephina, a woman who can hear (or can she) the dead.  Her performance is authentic and makes the viewer care about her and then subsequently Miles’ plight.

Their performances help take the film and make it feel like they are family and actually care about each other and worry for each other.   Their performances carry the film. The two of them and the other characters evolve in a believable version of Los Angeles where things are a bit grey and a bit miserable but the people are trying hard to get through and make it.  The film is shot in a way that brings this out with cinematography by Jeffrey Waldron and with choices of locations that show real life in LA and not the glamour and glitz.  The film is about a normal, regular guy, so it shows the normal, regular side of the city.

The special effects by Josh Russell may be minimal but they work very well in their scenes.  As a ghost movie and movie mostly about death, the minimalistic effects are the best choice for the story and the film.

We Go On is a touching film that deals with themes of death, life, the fear of dying, what is after death, regrets, etc.  It does so in a way that will appeal to horror fans and non-horror fans.  The addition of ghosts and spirits is more spiritual than scary as they serve a purpose other than frightening people.

Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival had its first edition on October 6th through October 9th, 2016.