Nightstream 2021 Review: We’re All Going To The World’s Fair

  • Director: Jane Schoenbrun
  • Writer: Jane Schoenbrun
  • Stars: Anna Cobb, Michael J Rogers

Review

We all know by now that the internet is an amazing place. It is also one of the scariest, most dangerous innovations that humans have created. Not dangerous by way of creation but dangerous by the way it is being used. You can enter any space, be anyone and finally feel like you belong somewhere. We’re All Going To The World’s Fair lets us into Casey’s (Cobb) world. A doe eyed teen, that has retreated into the online world, being soothed by ASMR videos and having very little if any actual contact with real life humans. She signs up to do the internet’s scariest challenge – We’re All Going To The World’s Fair challenge. A modern day dare of sorts. After joining the challenge she sets about documenting any changes and soon an online stranger begins to worry she is going too far…

Anna Cobb is great, playing Casey with a mix of skepticism, teenage angst and soul crushing loneliness. Managing to get all these feelings across without any of it feeling forced or fake. The beginning scene is an uncut webcam POV and she doesn’t miss a beat. Schoenbrun directs the film with an assured hand, never being in a rush and having the camera linger which draws the audience in closer as every moment ticks by.

We’re All Going To World’s Fair isn’t high on the horror quotient at least not in the way you expect it will. The actual challenge is just a kick off point for the horror of real life to invade the film. The reveal of the stranger and what they are, what they are trying to do is real pit of the stomach type dread, despite there being no real punctuation mark on the film, Schoenbrun seems to deliberately refuse to give the audience the moment that sharpens the point and perhaps that is the idea. Purposely slow and languid, the film won’t appeal to everyone but for those that connect with it, they will be swept up in the atmosphere and mood of the film.

Played as part of the Nightstream 2021 Film Festival

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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