31 Days of Halloween — Day 4: We Go On (2016) — by Dr. Shock

31 Days of Halloween - We Go On 2016

Editor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast, Universal Monsters Cast and Land of the Creeps horror podcasts. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.


Most phobias and fears that we humans suffer from can be traced back to the exact same thing: We are all afraid to die. And in “We Go On,” a 2016 horror / thriller co-directed by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton, we meet a man who is willing to pay top dollar to anyone who can prove that there is, in fact, life after death.

Miles (Clark Freeman) is afraid of many things: cars, airplanes, trains, and most of all, dying. The thought of his own mortality haunts Miles day and night, so much so that he places a classified ad in the newspaper offering a reward of $30,000 to the first person who convinces him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the afterlife is real.

Receiving dozens of replies, Miles, joined by his skeptical mother Charlotte (Annette O’Toole), visits the select few who he believes have the best chance of proving there’s more to life than what we experience while we’re alive. But it isn’t until he hooks up with Nelson (Jay Dunn), a Los Angeles-based janitor, that Miles finds the answers he’s looking for.

Instead of giving him peace of mind, however, this revelation only manages to make Miles’ life more complex, and a lot more frightening, than it was before.

Despite being a small, independently-produced film, “We Go On” tackles some big issues, the loftiest of which is the question of whether or not life continues after death. It is a query that the lead character, Miles, is desperate to answer, and in the first half of the movie he meets with a variety of people who claim they can give him what he wants, including Dr. Ellison (John Glover), whose approach is very scientific; and Josephina (Giovanna Zacarías), a clairvoyant who (if she is to be believed) is hounded by spirits night and day, some of which ask her to do terrible things. Along with being quite fascinating, these early sequences are also unnerving (even those that Miles’ cynical mother, played so well by Annette O’Toole, exposes as frauds will, for a while anyway, have you on the edge of your seat).

Then, once Nelson the janitor enters the picture, “We Go On” becomes more of a straightforward horror film, and because we’re so wrapped up in Miles’ quest, we suffer the terrors he experiences right along with him. Though he does a fine job throughout the entire movie, Clark Freeman is especially strong in the movie’s second half, when the one fear his character didn’t have when he started this journey of discovery, i.e., a fear of ghosts, becomes the only thing that keeps him up at night.

“We Go On” isn’t perfect; a scene in which Miles, who had never been behind the wheel of a car before, teaches himself to drive is definitely far-fetched, and we’re not quite sure how Nelson managed to get in touch with Miles in the first place. These (admittedly minor) quibbles aside, however, “We Go On” is a horror film that dares to ask some big questions while also delivering a fair share of supernatural thrills, making it, for me, one of the year’s most pleasant surprises.

—Dr. Shock


Dr. Shock’s links:
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9 thoughts on “31 Days of Halloween — Day 4: We Go On (2016) — by Dr. Shock

  1. —SPOILERS BELOW—

    Day 04 – Child’s Play 2 (1990)

    I have little doubt that a significant part of my love for Child’s Play 2 stems from the fact that it’s one of the earliest horror movies I can remember watching in the early 90’s. Along with Friday the 13th Part 3, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2-3, and even Child’s Play 3, gave me the early foundation of finding some fun in watching scary movies, even if my love of horror came later on in life. In fact, I can remember being that age of around six years old and not being afraid of Jason or Freddy, but Chucky? That guy scared me even after the movie was finished. Unlike Friday the 13th Part 3 or A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Child’s Play 2 still holds up for me similarly to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that those two movies I still love from my childhood, are now being credited as being among my top ten favorite horror movies ever. They’re very much so comfort movies for me.

    Considering how often the Child’s Play/Chucky series changed things up over the course of the series, Chucky is most effective, for me, when it’s just him trying to put his soul into the body of young Andy Barclay. Ultimately, it is a story about a killer doll. How many adults are concerned for their safety against some children’s toy? Yet, for a child whose whole life is wrapped around their toys and using their imagination to bring these toys to life, it comes across as a more believable story. Since every movie features people doubting the main character’s claims of Chucky being alive and being behind the kills, it works far better when that main character is a child and not an adult. From an adult’s perspective, it’d be frustrating when your child is refusing to break his story that a doll is responsible for all of the misdeeds that you know your child must be responsible for. Despite that frustration, there is an understanding that kids will be kids and to some degree, you’re expecting them to believe in fantastical stuff. When it’s an adult telling you the same crazy story, there isn’t that patience there that there is when it’s the child telling you. Besides the effectiveness of Chucky still battling a child, has the right amount of seriousness mixed in with a bit of humor. It’s a movie about a killer doll the size of a common house cat. Writer, Don Mancini, realizes you need to have a bit of fun with the concept as it’s such a silly idea. However, Child’s Play 2 is still firmly a serious horror movie, like the rest of the Child’s Play portion of the series, unlike the Chucky based portion of the series.

    I’ve always preferred the relationship between Andy and his temporary foster-sister, Kyle, to Andy and his mother. When I was young, it was likely just because Kyle was this hip teenage girl, but now I appreciate how these two practical strangers can come together and help shows that family is what you make it. Part of my enjoyment of this relationship may even come from the similarities between Kyle/Andy and Rachel/Jamie from my favorite movie, Halloween 4. In both cases, a child is endangered and someone who isn’t technically their family, steps in the line of fire to do everything that she can do to help keep this kid safe. There’s a little moment near the end of the film where Andy and Kyle are standing in the doll factory and Kyle happens to look over and sees that Andy is standing just under a pipe that leaks very hot liquid plastic. Just before a bit drips on top of Andy’s head, Kyle pulls him to safety. It’s a moment like that that warms my heart a bit since that plastic wasn’t going to kill Andy nor was it the major threat to Andy and Kyle in that moment, but gosh darn it, Kyle’s always looking after Andy. Admittedly, there is a scene in the middle of the film that always has me cracking up due to the foster parents seemingly walking in on teenage Kyle tying the young Andy to his bed. From their perspective, it has to look very weird and questionable, but it’s never properly addressed.

    As always, Chucky is the highlight of any of these Child’s Play/Chucky films. The death scene involving Andy’s new teacher, Miss Kettlewell, is one of my favorite of the entire series. Not only do we get to see Chucky use an air pump, something I can’t off of the top of my head remember any other horror movie using, but there’s an awesome Psycho-like shot of Chucky walking out of the closet with his deadly ruler while the hanging light bulb swings back and forth. This scene encompasses what I love about Chucky at his best. It’s such a violent scene, yet also comical because she’s literally being beaten to death with a ruler by a doll! It’s wonderfully wacky. I’m also a big fan of all of the abuse that Chucky takes in the final act. It’s a gnarly sight seeing Chucky lose a hand and replacing it with a knife. He may still be a doll, but Chucky looks more physically imposing when there’s a knife physically attached to his body. In addition, Chucky, in this film, is also responsible for one of my fears that I still sorta have to this day. With Chucky tripping Mr. Simpson on the basement stairs, leading to Phil’s broken neck and death, I have this fear of any sort of stairs where there’s not a backing to the steps. It’s all because those damn basement stairs didn’t have backings to them and Chucky was able to reach from under the steps. Thanks a lot for traumatizing me, Chucky.

    Overall, as I said, Child’s Play 2 is one of my favorite horror movies ever. I realize it’s not a perfect film and that many people will appreciate the original more, but I’m the type that tends to prefer sequels because the killer has more of a signature style about themselves. I love the balance between being a serious film, while also embracing the wackiness of the story without becoming a horror comedy. In my bias opinion, it’s one of the highlights of an otherwise disappointing decade for horror. Now, if only Shout Factory could gain the rights to Child’s Play 2 so that fans can get a proper DVD/Blu-Ray release with extras.

    Rating: 8/10

    • I absolutely adore this film. The final sequence in the factory is still one of my favourite horror scenes. His snarling, contorted face is a triumph of FX, and combined with Brad Dourif’s furious, anguished howls – Chucky doesn’t get any more terrifying than this!

  2. I know I said I would make my list of movies watched known at the end of the challenge, but today I watched one I thought interesting enough to share in advance. To explain, in order to ensure I watch a movie a day, I watch one over the course of the day at work. In order to do this, I have to make sure the movies have nothing overtly offensive contained within them, therefore am watching many lesser known horrors from the early 30’s to the early 50’s available on Youtube and Daily Motion. While I am finding this journey fascinating and would recommend any fan of the genre to explore this time period, one I watched today was 1934’s The Ninth Guest (found on Youtube). I know nothng of them film and walked away thoroughly impressed. You could tell it was a lesser budget second billing movie, but most horror fans would find it noteworthy in that it may be the first “survuval” type horror movie made (either that or The Most Dangerous Game). The prmise is rather simple: 8 seemingly random people are sent telegrams telling them they are invited to a party at a neutral location. Each shows up not knowing who the host of the party is, or what the occasion for the party is. As th guests chat, and some loose relationships between them are established, a voice comes over a radio in the room stating that they will not be allowed to leave and that they will be killed until they figure out who the host is. The front gate becomes electrified, and if the radio is altered the people involved will be killed instantly. It is extremely grim for the time period (I wonder if it slipped through as a pre code movie?) and a classic murder/who dunnit. There are many deaths as the movie goes along and trying to figure out who is responsible is never obvious. This movie certainly lays the groundwork for similar structured movies to come years in advance and is interesting to see how it compare to movies such as Ten Little Indians and Cube and Saw in modern times. Yes, it has its slow points, keeping track of everyone’s details and relationships can become ownerous, and the acting is not exactly Oscar worthy, but is entertaining enough and worthy of a rental. 6.5/10.

  3. *Note: I am skipping day 3 because I decided to watch Cult of Chucky and I’d prefer to leave my thoughts until the podcast on that film drops. It’s available on my blog and letterboxd pages, if you really want to know. In the meantime…

    31 Days of Horror: DAY 4

    Based on Stephen King’s “Cycle of the Werewolf” ( a collaboration project with artist Bernie Wrightson), Silver Bullet features the young Corey Haim at the height of acting prowess, playing Marty Cosgrove. The story follows a wheel-chair bound young man and his older sister(Megan Follows) as they uncover the mystery behind the deaths of local townsfolk.

    Gary Busey delivers a touching performance as their wild uncle, who has a special bond with Marty. He engineers a special wheelchair for the boy and eventually helps them to uncover the secret behind the Werewolf.

    Top notch talent and story all around.

  4. Today’s film was The Raven (1963). I know that Roger Corman liked to slap a Poe title on a movie, almost irrespective of its content, but I did not expect so much comedy until the eponymous raven uttered his first line. Having the stellar Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Vincent Price together was always going to be a joy to watch and despite the lack of chills, the movie was great fun. I cut my teeth on Hammer films so I was thrilled by the grandiose setting. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just long for a torch lit castle on a stormy night. The film was pure joy from start to finish and (whether or not it should truly be categorised as horror) I’m so glad I saw it. 8.5/10
    🐑🐱

  5. Today’s film was The Raven (1963). I know that Roger Corman liked to slap a Poe title on a movie, almost irrespective of its content, but I did not expect so much comedy until the eponymous raven uttered his first line. Having the stellar Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Vincent Price together was always going to be a joy to watch and despite the lack of chills, the movie was great fun. I cut my teeth on Hammer films so I was thrilled by the grandiose setting. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just long for a torch lit castle on a stormy night. The film was pure joy from start to finish and (whether or not it should truly be categorised as horror) I’m so glad I saw it. 8.5/10
    🐑🐱

  6. Day 4: The Phantom Carriage (1921)

    The Phantom Carriage (1921) is a Swedish silent film based on the book Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness! by Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. The tale of the ghostly carriage is told very early in the film and then we get another story about a drunkard, David Holm who is played by the director, Victor Sjöström. Both narratives are woven together throughout the film with flashbacks, twists, and turns.

    This film is full of deep themes about how our choices in life affects our families and even our eternal soul. The story has many similarities to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol but this ghost story takes place on New Year’s Eve. The set design and camera work are hauntingly good and the special effects, which were amazing for 1921, still look great today! 9.5/10

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