A few years back writing and directing team Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton made the somewhat promising YellowBrickRoad, a moderately well received horror about an expedition that set out to discover the secrets of a town’s vanished population. Now they’re back with supernatural chiller We Go On.
Miles is a young man who is afraid of pretty much everything, with an impressively dense list of phobias. It all comes back to one thing for him - a fear of death. He has a recurring dream of his demise in a car accident, and fear in general is blighting his life. Miles places an ad with a fee for anyone who can show him proof of an afterlife, and preferably a welcoming one. Dismissing the cranks and crackpots Miles settles on three candidates.
One is revealed as a fake and doesn’t even make the first meeting, one is almost certainly just crazy and the other is a doctor (Glover) who tries to tap into Miles’ fears to win the prize, but with little success. It’s actually someone else entirely, Nelson (Dunn), who helps Miles get what he wishes for. And like the saying goes, Miles should have been more careful because once he has proof, that proof won’t leave him alone. Blighted now by hauntings Miles must consider desperate measures to try and shut the door he has opened.
It’s an intriguing premise and something many people would be interested to know, one way or the other. A ponderous start doesn’t help things but arguably this is Holland and Mitton trying to establish a verisimilitude and ground the later events in a sense of reality, allowing us first to relate with Miles. Once Miles’ connection with the other side begins, there’s plenty of ghostly happenings. It’s a kind of sunnier Sixth Sense condensed that aims for atmosphere and while it doesn’t quite make it, there’s plenty to recommend.
Dialling up the action marks a shift from the more sombre opening, and although none of the spooks are scary on their own, We Go On works up a cumulative effect that’s actually quite enjoyable. As Miles, Freeman is a bit of a momma’s boy, but for an audience this helps as we get the estimable Annette O’Toole as Charlotte, a sceptical counterpoint to her boy’s desire to believe.
We Go On goes exactly where you think it will in terms of plot, and at the same time manages attempts at something different, including an interesting ethical quandary. It never quite pulls together, never quite chills as it could do, but overall is a decent film that has ambition and is an agreeable enough way to spend an hour and a half.
WE GO ON / CERT: TBA / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JESSE HOLLAND, ANDY MITTON / STARRING: CLARK FREEMAN, ANNETTE O’TOOLE, JOHN GLOVER / RELEASE DATE: UK RELEASE DATE TBA