Title: We’re All Going To The World’s Fair
Director: Jane Schoenbrun
Starring: Anna Cobb, Theo Anthony, Holly Anne Frank
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Runtime: 1 hr 26 mins
What It Is: Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.
What We Think: Everything is not as it seems in this story. There is a healthy amount of ambiguity that is injected into the opening act that makes it eerie enough to keep you intrigued, yet hesitant to continue, as it rides the line between fiction and Marble Hornets-inspired documentation. The mix of these two genres is an inventive way to present the main story, switching between webcam recordings, hand-held takes, and crisp still images contrasting almost completely with the previous two.
From the film’s opening minutes, there’s already an air of uneasiness as our main character Casey starts our her journey into the depths of The World’s Fair Challenge. Played beautifully by Anna Cobb (soon to appear in Bones and All), she displays emotion that can be interpreted in many different ways, a blank canvas for the viewer to project upon. Her entrance into this underground world of dark web mysteries takes us on a journey though her deepest feelings, through unnatural occurrences and disturbing imagery – yet at its core, We’re All Going To The World’s Fair has something more personal in mind than the creepypasta substance that its presented in.
At the midway point of the film, there’s a certain shift that occurs with Casey when she meets a fellow World’s Fair player, who tells her that she is in ‘terrible danger’, and insists that she record her activities to detect odd mannerisms and anomalies. What this relationship does for the rest of the story is something unexpected, yet oddly touching in a way. I won’t say any more, but to fit such an arc within a story such as this one was a welcome addition to the already layered narrative. As to answer the age-old question of “how scary is the film?”, it is terribly frightening. Just not in the way that you think it would be.
Our Grade: A; What is being hailed as this generation’s The Blair Witch Project, this film is a nostalgic and unsettling journey down a fictional rabbit hole of internet urban legend, the uncomfortable transition from teen years to adulthood, and long-distance relationships coming to fruition – presented through the unique lens of Jane Schoenbrun and the incredible lead performance from Anna Cobb. Catch it streaming on HBO Max!