IFFBoston: ‘We’re All Going to the World’s Fair’ is a disappointing horror film



Anna Cobb plays teenager Casey, who becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game.

“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” directed by Jane Schoenbrun, is not the best film being shown at this year’s Independent Film Festival of Boston. This so-called sci-fi horror film tried to scare the audience with strange imagery and soundtracks. But it failed to do any of those things. Instead, it was something that made people scratch their heads 

It was like watching an extremely slow trainwreck that is moving at a pace that even a snail would go to sleep in the middle of it. This plot of the film gave a mix of “Videodrome” meets “Twin Peaks” with similar elements of found footage films like “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity.”

But neither of these things worked. This whole film tried to depict the internet and this “ritual” to see if people would change once they attend this “fair.”

Some things in the film were puzzling. The film is about a group of Youtubers doing the “world fair” challenge, by poking their finger and smearing blood on the web camera and repeating that they want to go to the world’s fair. Pretty much as a sacrifice to the fair. It’s overall dull and repetitive.

It was difficult to figure out if viewers were supposed to be scared or to question who is an evil entity. Or if it was just a fake challenge that was created by influencers. It was confusing trying to figure out the film. The film had some jump scares, but not everything was bad.

Up and coming actress Anna Cobb played the shy yet mysterious vlogger named Casey, who decided to take the dare and go to the fair, with dire consequences in the future. Micheal J. Roberts plays the mysterious JLB, who is trying to warn other people about the challenge and how it’s more than a game, but a portal to the unknown. 

As the film progresses along, viewers see people who have taken the challenge, suffering the aftermath of going to the fair. Unfortunately for Casey, she is suffering from hallucinations that clash with reality. JLB is trying to save her from a doom worse than death, but time is slowly running out of time.  

This film was well written but not well directed and it showed in some parts. Cobb really gave it her all in this film, which was her first movie role. However, she was struggling to try and act in this film. She’s the main heroine, but it was difficult for her to convince the audience to feel sorry for her. But it’s not her fault with the poor direction. I don’t know if the director gave up, the actors had to leave, or something of the sort. But it was just rushed and badly written.

This film is based on a web series called “Dark Signal.” The series is much better than the film. However, this film shouldn’t have been in the festival. The plot was all over the place and it was trying too hard to figure out what it was trying to tell the viewers. The graphics and music were some of the only good things. 

Yes, it’s an independent film so the budget is not huge compared to other films, but the script and poor special effects are something to be frowned upon. 

If you want to watch something that is strange and intense, which actually conveys a message, watch all of David Lynch’s films and or watch any other body horror film. However, at least the web series was more entertaining.