We Go On (2016) -Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton

Premiering on Shudder TV today is this tightly paced, solidly acted supernatural drama that pursues the life long question of what happens after we die.

Written and directed by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton, the story revisits oft-explored ideas and themes, but does it in a solid way. At the film’s centre is Miles Grissom (Clark Freeman) a man who is held in fear, often paralysed by it even as he tries to work through his day to day life as a video editor in Los Angeles.

First, a word about Freeman’s performance, it’s just as physical as it is emotional. This is someone who seems to be afraid of a lot of things, and that physically manifests itself in his portrayal by a tension that runs through Freeman’s body no matter what he does as Miles. His shoulders are bunched, he stands stiffly, more often than not his hands are clenched, and clinging to himself.  This is a man who spends most of his time terrified. And perhaps that is what makes it easier for him to believe what happens to him as the film progresses.

Haunted by the loss of his father, and the primal fear that strikes us all at some point of our life – the finite amount of time of our existence, and the inevitable fact that it is going to end – he puts out an ad offering $30,000 if someone can prove the existence of life after death.

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His mother (the always delightful Annette O’Toole) rushes to his side to stop him from wasting his money, and serve as a sceptic to keep Miles grounded. O’Toole is always wonderful, and is nicely paired with Freeman in this film, their relationship is very believable, has a sense of history, and hints at a playfulness that was lost as Miles grew up.

Countless ‘proofs’ arrive and the two of them wheedle their way through them coming across three possibles. There is a scholar, Dr. Ellison (the stalwart John Glover) who believes that the a form of primal fear mixed with a child-like sense of belief is the doorway that needs to be opened. Then there is Josephina (Giovanna Zacarias), a troubled woman, a haunted woman, who claims to have countless ghosts tethered to her and never giving her any piece. The final one is only hinted at, and I think is probably there as a nod to horror film fans, because it centres around a mysterious box that we don’t learn a lot about, but looks very familiar to Clive Barker fans.

Will things pay off? Will Miles get his proof? Will his proof find him?

The first half of the film is dark, and Miles’ encounters under Ellison’s influence are pretty well-crafted. The second half enters a little bit more in the way of familiar supernatural tropes, but it plays itself out fairly strongly.

In a genre where blood, gore, computer generated images are deemed scary, and what the audience wants, We Go On, is a breath of fresh air, playing like a classic ghost story.

Check it out on Shudder TV now! And have a listen to our phone interview with Clark Freeman right here!!

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