By: April Shire
Role-playing games can be fun. Who wouldn't like to lose themselves for a few hours in a world of their own imagination? It's a chance to experience some true adventure. But what if your role-playing game started to become way too real? This is the problem for introverted teen, Casey (Anna Cobb), and new internet friend, JBL (Michael J Rodgers) in WE'RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR. Casey decides she would like to take the World’s Fair Challenge, an online horror challenge that changes you over time. She has watched countless videos from others who have taken the challenge, and wants to make her own, and join the community.
Casey takes the online challenge, and starts a video blog about it, so she can document changes to herself over time. Then, in comes JBL, who messages her, and seems to be an expert on all things concerning the World’s Fair Challenge. Casey is starting to get anxiety, because she can feel changes happening to her. JBL sees the changes in the videos she posts. Casey feels like she is slipping away, being carried off like so many others who had taken the challenge before her. Through video chats with JBL, she is hoping to figure out what is happening to her, and if it can be stopped.
WE'RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR is shot in a documentary style, so when watching, I felt like I was with the characters, which made the creepy parts of the movie even creepier. Writer and director Jane Schoenbrun did a wonderful job of telling what happens when an internet game isn’t just an internet game. I loved the idea behind WE'RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR. I just wish we had a bit more back story on how this challenge started, and when it became a game. The one thing the movie was lacking was backstory. You don’t really get to see what the World’s Fair has to do with the challenge, other than a few tiny scenes, which were easy to miss if you weren’t paying close attention. The ending was also kind of meh, a climax that fell short for a movie with such an intriguing concept.
While I can’t say I would go out to the theaters for this movie, I will say it is something that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. A grab some popcorn, chill with friends kind of movie. This film was not scary, but more suspenseful. You can watch this film on HBO Max starting April 22.