HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: WE GO ON (2016)

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WE GO ON (2016)

Original slant on a haunting flick finds a man named Miles (Clark Freeman) suffering an almost fatal car accident. Even when his injuries are healed, Miles finds himself living with his mother Charlotte (Annette O’Toole) and living in fear. Not only is Miles timid about driving again, but now terrified of dying. To try to ease that fear, Miles takes out an ad promising $30,000 to anyone who can give him definitive proof of the afterlife. Initially he finds nothing but disappointment from the various scientist, paranormal experts and psychics that apply, until a strange phone call gives proof to the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for.’

Flick is co-directed by Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland from their script and story. It has a very interesting and clever premise with a man suffering a close call and now being terrified of death. He will go to any lengths to prove there is an afterlife to alleviate that fear, and as this is a horror film, that pursuit comes back to bite him. Mitton and Holland provide some very spooky scenes, even when Miles is scammed by con-artists, as some of those sequences are still creepy, before being revealed as fraud. When Miles gets a phone call from a mysterious man, things get even creepier, especially when we learn who this man is and what his intentions are. It then takes the film in an interesting new direction, when to free himself from what he’s gotten himself into, Miles is faced with a moral conundrum. Miles is forced to confront his morality, as well as, his mortality. He is also forced to confront some truths about his own past, as well. The resolution to Miles’ tale is interesting to say the least. A solid idea well carried out in both script and direction. As with Mitton’s The Witch in the Window, there are some make-up FX which are well rendered and it appears all the FX are in-camera. If not, any CGI is very subtle. This is a spooky and disturbing flick that asks some interesting questions and goes in some provocative directions. The duo of Mitton and Holland prove that the spookiness in Yellowbrickroad was not a fluke and is even more well-honed with a solid and less ambiguous story. The flick is not for everyone, as with any paranormal themed film, it depends on your beliefs in such as to how effective it will be for you.

There is a small but solid cast. Yellowbrickroad veteran Clark Freeman is very good as Miles. He is a man terrified and living in fear and wanting to find a way out. This puts Miles in a position to find definitive answers to some age old questions about life and afterlife and is even morally challenged as well. The actor handles all these facets of Miles’ journey very effectively. Annette O’Toole is very good as his caring mother Charlotte. She is very protective of Miles and is probably more skeptical of the answerers to his ad than he is. Jay Dunn is appropriately spooky as the author of the phone call, the mysterious Nelson. There is more to Nelson than meets the eye and that’s all that need be said. In support, we have good work from Laura Heisler as Nelson’s girlfriend Alice, veteran John Glover as a scientist and Giovanna Zacarías as a psychic who might be more legit than Miles first believes. A good cast that take the material seriously and give down-to-earth performances which suit the tone and material.

Overall, Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland prove they are filmmakers to watch in the indie film arena. They have come up with an intriguing and original slant on the haunting scenario, carry it out effectively and take it in some provocative directions. The film has some very spooky and disturbing moments, as well as, some thought-provoking questions. It can be low key at times, but the slower burn keeps it from getting theatrical and that keeps it grounded…and it’s all the more effective for it. Another flick that can be found on Shudder.

-MonsterZero NJ

Rated 3 and 1/2 (out of 4) cellphones on which to receive ominous messages!

 

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: YELLOWBRICKROAD (2010)

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YELLOWBRICKROAD (2010)

There were things I liked about Yellowbrickroad and things I didn’t. The premise is cool. In the 1940s the population of an entire fictional New Hampshire town walks off into the mountains and vanishes. Search efforts recovered some bodies in unnatural states of death, but a large portion of the populace remains unfound. In modern day, a group sets out to retrace their steps, follow their trail and try to get some answers. Their journey takes them deep into the still uncharted mountains where mysterious music can be heard and the further they go, the more they seem to lose their minds and some lose their lives. Will they find out what happend to all those people on that fateful day or become the next chapter in an all too real urban legend?

As written and directed by Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton, the film can be quite spooky and unsettling at times, but never really grabs you like it should. Clunky dialog and bland characters keep you from getting drawn in, as does not really understanding enough about what’s going on to make you afraid. At least in The Blair Witch Project, a film this resembles to a degree, you knew there was a possibility that there was an evil entity that might be out there causing the trouble. It gave you something to focus on and be afraid of. Here there’s nothing to focus on as we never really know what’s going on, or get so much as a clue as to what happened 70 years earlier. It appears to be something supernatural, but we are never really certain. Sure, there is some nice atmosphere here and the film can be creepy, but it’s a little too vague for it’s own good. Sometimes not being spoon-fed everything is good and leaving some things to the imagination is effective, too, but here it’s a case of giving us a little too little. We at least needed some clues to get our imaginations fired up even if the answers were ultimately going to be left a mystery or up to us to decide. I really liked the effort to do something different and hopefully these filmmakers keep trying. Their work shows potential and imagination, but they need to give their audience something a bit more solid to work with and liven up their characters to really deliver.

I still recommend horror fans check this one out. It’s definitely worth a look, but be prepared to know pretty much the same when the credits roll as you did going in. The cast of unknowns include Cassidy Freeman, Anessa Ramsey and Clark Freeman.

2 and 1/2 gramophones… at least that sounds like what is playing that creepy music…

yellowbrickroad rating

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