WE GO ON [DEAD BY DAWN]

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Emotionally and socially crippled by an assortment of phobias, Miles gets by through a job editing commercial videos that means he never has to leave the house. In an attempt to alleviate his constant fear and anxiety, he offers a huge monetary reward for anyone who can conclusively prove the existence of life after death. After whittling down the inevitable nutters and con artists he embarks on a journey to meet the most promising candidates, even though he might not be ready for the revelations that await him.

In the same way that Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton’s disturbing and severely underrated 2010 debut YellowBrickRoad wasn’t just another ‘hikers fall afoul of evil in the woods’ movie, so We Go On is far more than your average ghost story. Considering that horror movies featuring the shades of the departed are almost as easy to do badly as found footage shockers, making one that is not only halfway engaging but also manages to stand out is quite an achievement, especially when it doesn’t feature an apparition of a lank-haired Asian girl.

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone has at some point pondered what happens after death, and by playing on that most primal of fears the film taps into the audience’s psyche and with such universal subject matter the story is at least in part relatable to anyone, despite whatever each viewer’s personal beliefs on the topic might be.

Instead of the standard contemporary formula of cranking out a predetermined jump scare ratio, there is instead a permanent sense of unease similar to the likes of It Follows or Insidious. The very purpose of the film is the search for restless spirits, and the possibility that they might always be there –and anywhere at that – gives the film a persistent and unsettling atmosphere without necessarily requiring an in-your-face visual component. What deliberate scares there are avoid the typical pitfall of being painfully telegraphed by the camerawork, and in doing so manage to genuinely freak you out, something of an increasing rarity in horror movies.

Rather than specifically being a tale of people caught up in otherworldly shenanigans, We Go On is a very human story with supernatural aspects. Despite being thematically, structurally and technically formulaic, the film manages to craft something unique out of its familiar parts, appropriating the best of its influences for a tale creepy, unsettling and genuinely scary.

We Go On / Cert: TBA / Director & Screenplay: Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton / Starring: Clark Freeman, Annette O'Toole, Giovanna Zacarias, Jay Dunn, Laura Heisler, John Glover / Release Date: TBA

 


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