Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Fantasia ’16: We Go On
told Horatio “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in
your philosophy,” but that’s not good enough for Miles Grissom. He wants proof
of something after death, so he is offering thirty thousand American Dollars to
anyone who can conclusively demonstrate the existence of ghosts, angels or
what-have-you. You can forget about angels right off the bat, but ghosts are a different
story. After all, there are good reasons why Jesse Holland & Andy Mitton’s We Go On (trailer here) is screening
during the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival.
since his father died in a car crash, Grissom has been petrified by cars,
plagued by medium level agoraphobia, and paralyzed by the very idea of death. That
was about three decades ago. In a desperate attempt to reassert control over his
life, Grissom pledges his inheritance to anyone who can prove there is
something after. Naturally, he is inundated with responses, but his no-nonsense
mother Charlotte helps him whittle them down to three main contenders (and
maybe a few dark horses).
first session with Dr. Ellison, an academic paranormal researcher starts
promisingly, but ends disappointingly. The pattern will repeat with the other
main contenders, but one of the dark horses just might be the real deal. In
which case, Grissom could be in for a hard careful-what-you-wish-for lesson.
Holland & Mitton’s narrative radically changes course midway through, but it
always makes sense given the context. It is definitely creepy, but it is also
its own film. We are certainly not watching the same basic chiller re-purposed
for yet another cast. However, it is safe to say Annette O’Toole is their ace
in the hole, because she is terrific as the tart-tounged Charlotte. In contrast, Clark Freeman’s turn as Grissom
truly inspires mixed reactions. At times, he seems appropriately nebbish, but
he is also rather dull. The same could never be said of John Glover, who is
flamboyantly sleazy as ever playing Dr. Ellison. Although her work as Josephina
the medium is considerably less showy, Giovanna Zacarias is still effectively
squirrely, in a quiet, tightly wound sort of way.
springs a few sly surprises along the way, but
the clever details are what really make the film. Holland & Mitton do not
reinvent the genre wheel, but they nicely balance grounded humor with
supernatural horror. Recommended for horror fans who appreciate character and concepts,
We Go On screens again tomorrow
(7/28), as part of this year’s Fantasia in Montreal.
Labels: Fantasia '16, Horror Movies