Several nights ago I settled in to watch a movie on Shudder from 2016 starting Annette O’Toole and Clark Freeman, entitled We Go On. I came across this movie while surfing the Shudder stream on Amazon Prime. I tend to be a fan of psychological thrillers and suspense features.. and I’m drawn especially to a story-line with a paranormal twist. This one delivered.
(Featured image and trailer link via IMDB.com)
We Go On is a story about a man who is gripped with terror over the thought of dying. Unable to let go of the death of his father and suffering from increasingly worsening phobias that keep him from experiencing a healthy and normal adult life, Miles becomes fixated on learning what happens when people die. He points himself on a path of active discovery, searching intently for some existing proof that we do in fact go on in some way after death.
He’s not particular on how we go on; he simply wants to know that there is something beyond this life. This is in stark contrast to his mother’s view, which is that we simply cease to exist once dead. Determined to find the truth and to set his debilitating fears to rest, he uses money from an inheritance to place an ad offering a 30k dollar payout to anyone who can show him definitive proof of life after death.That’s the premise.
The story follows Miles on his quest, as he filters through various claims of paranormal knowledge and meets a variety of people who claim to have the answers that he is seeking. Through this journey, we are let in on the motivations and methods of individuals vying for the reward money that Miles has offered up.
For a good portion of the weeding out process that Miles undertakes, he has the support of his mother who also drives him to meet people since Miles has trouble being behind the wheel of a car. She is a skeptic, but also very protective of her son. She uses her presence like a watchdog when her son is interacting with people who claim to have the proof he seeks.
It’s obvious that she doesn’t want anyone taking advantage of her son, but it also becomes quite frustrating the way she tends to constantly interrupt potential progress in her son’s search. You begin to get a feeling that she doesn’t want him to find the answer.
This movie plays like a drama at first, giving some relationship insights, some backstory that helps the audience understand the main character and his psychology better, and giving us the feeling that we’re being taken along on a journey of soul seeking self discovery. It has more of a spiritual feel to it than a paranormal one. ..at first.
Then, a little ways into the story, it morphs into the more paranormal feel. It begins to sprinkle in some eerie ambiance and heart thumping suspense.
The actor who plays Miles is quite convincing in his fear. The close ups of his face during the more emotional moments do a good job of pulling you into the moment with him. Once the story really gets where it was leading all the time, you realize this in fact is more of a thriller with some real jump scare horror moments. Those moments don’t come off as cheap, however, just for the sake of having them; they actually feel organic and almost peripheral at the point of realization.
The film fosters a surreal sort of mood that is captured in the way the camera interacts with the characters. It gives a feeling of realism. It subtly convinces you that this is the way such things would be perceived by a person in reality who had really been searching for proof of an existence after life, but who was also at the same time fearful of what they had found.
The latter part of the movie is an interesting mix of drama, thriller, and horror. In its entirety it is the all too often under-produced psychological thriller, with a focus on ghosts and afterlife communications, which gives it a spooky and sometimes disturbing edge. It has twists and it has suspense and it’ll make you think. This slow burner will pull you in gently and have you instinctively checking the dark spaces around you. There are few movies that I would put on a list with this one in terms of quality and build. If you’d like to see what makes that list – See here on IMDB.
Of Interest to Note: