We’re All Going To The World’s Fair: Review. By Caillou Pettis.
Late on a cold night somewhere in the U.S., teenage Casey (Anna Cobb) sits alone in her attic bedroom, scrolling the internet under the glow-in-the-dark stars and black-light posters that blanket the ceiling. She has finally decided to take the World’s Fair Challenge, an online role-playing horror game, and embrace the uncertainty it promises. After the initiation, she documents the changes that may or may not be happening to her, adding her experiences to the shuffle of online clips available for the world to see. As she begins to lose herself between dream and reality, a mysterious figure reaches out, claiming to see something special in her uploads.
I definitely consider myself to be a horror film aficionado seeing as how I watch perhaps one hundred of them or more every single year. It is hands down my favorite genre of any type of entertainment whether it’s film, television, or books. So, because I have been subjected to so much horror content throughout the course of my life, it’s genuinely tricky to surprise me, and it’s even trickier to get under my skin, because I’ve pretty much seen it all.
Horror films – while amazing – don’t necessarily bother me like they would most people because, well, I’m just used to them. So it should really speak volumes when I say that Jane Schoenbrun‘s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair terrified me. It’s an unbearably unsettling film that touches upon not just the dangers of the internet and who you might meet online, but the dangers of becoming consumed by it.
The script here by Schoenbrun is extremely clever and multi-layered. It delves deep into Casey’s dependency on the internet and most notably, her fixation on playing the “World’s Fair Challenge” which is horrifying to say the least. Throughout the film, we see videos uploaded by other individuals who participated, and, sure enough, some weird things start to happen.
One video showcases a man running on a treadmill, occasionally slapping himself across the face, completely unbothered. Another one features a young woman whose entire body is slowly transforming into shiny plastic. The videos featured in this movie alone are enough to give anybody nightmares.
And don’t even get me started on Anna Cobb’s terrific lead performance. The fact that this is her feature film debut is crazy to me, because in every single scene, she comes across as a seasoned veteran in the industry. Sometimes even just a facial expression she makes is scary.
But this film is certainly not going to be for everyone. It’s extremely strange in tone, similar to something along the lines of Midsommar, and the film doesn’t spoon-feed us answers. It leaves it up to us, the viewer, to decide what happened throughout the course of the film.
Theories are going to run rampant on the internet among those who have watched it, and I can happily say that I will definitely take part in the theorizing process because We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is one of the scariest movies I have seen in years.
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