We’re All Going to the World’s Fair: Exploring the Internet’s Impact on Fiction and Reality
“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” is not your typical horror film. It delves deep into the alienating impact of the Internet and blurs the line between fiction and reality. Inspired by creepypastas, urban legends shared online to scare readers, this thought-provoking movie raises questions about our online experiences and the consequences they may have on our lives. Let’s dive into the captivating world of “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair.”
The Intriguing World of Creepypastas
If you’ve spent a significant amount of time online, you’ve likely come across creepypastas. These are horror stories, often centered around urban legends, shared on the internet to evoke fear in readers. One of the most well-known figures in the creepypasta realm is Slender Man, who gained immense popularity in the early 2010s and even had a film adaptation. Unfortunately, the Slender Man story became entangled with a real-life stabbing incident in Wisconsin in 2014, raising questions about the line between fiction and reality.
In response to this incident, a post titled “Fiction, Reality, and You” emerged, attempting to separate creepypastas from real-life events. The author emphasized the importance of recognizing the boundary between fiction and reality. Interestingly, this blurred line becomes a central theme in “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” a film that draws inspiration from creepypastas and explores the unsettling impact of the Internet.
A Deep Dive into The World’s Fair Challenge
The film introduces us to Casey, a teenager portrayed by the talented Anna Cobb, sitting in her dimly lit bedroom. Casey addresses her followers in a video, revealing her intention to take on The World’s Fair Challenge. This challenge involves participating in an online horror game called The World’s Fair, touted as the Internet’s most terrifying game.
To participate, players must prick their thumb, watch a flashing video, and repeat the phrase “I want to go to The World’s Fair” multiple times, reminiscent of the Bloody Mary legend. The players then document their symptoms. As Casey follows suit, she experiences an array of physical and psychological changes. However, the audience is left wondering whether these changes are real or merely part of the game.
Amidst Casey’s journey, she encounters a mysterious individual named JLB, portrayed by Michael J Rogers, who sends her a disturbing message: “You Are In Trouble.” JLB is deeply invested in The World’s Fair and claims to be able to assist Casey. This connection plunges us further into the tangled web of this captivating film.
A Digital Exploration of Internet Culture
“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” masterfully incorporates the digital landscape, reflecting the explosion of Internet culture over the past decade and a half. The movie encompasses a range of digital mediums that have shaped our online experiences, such as vlogging and, of course, creepypastas.
One notable digital medium employed in the film is ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Casey turns to ASMR videos to help her fall asleep, adding to the overall ambiance of the movie. The delicate sound design contributes to a sense of realism and discomfort, cleverly enhancing the eerie atmosphere.
A Stellar Debut Performance
Anna Cobb, in her feature film debut, delivers an astonishingly composed and dedicated performance as Casey. At the beginning, she impeccably portrays an awkward teenager, exuding shyness and vulnerability. She clings to her toy lemur, harboring a fear of the dark, and openly admits her discomfort in social interactions.
However, as Casey delves deeper into The World’s Fair Challenge, Cobb’s performance undergoes a transformative evolution. She oscillates between vulnerability and quiet eeriness, her vacant stares turning into chilling gazes directly at the camera. Cobb’s portrayal captivates the audience, effectively portraying Casey’s inner turmoil.
A Director’s Unique Vision
“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” marks the directorial and writing debut of Jane Schoenbrun. Schoenbrun’s distinctive style allows scenes to linger, employing long takes and static shots from Casey’s webcam perspective. This approach builds anticipation, seemingly leading to jump scares that ultimately subvert expectations.
While the film lacks conventional horror tropes, it successfully creates a constant sense of uneasiness and tension. Schoenbrun deliberately leaves aspects open to interpretation, occasionally shifting the perspective to JLB. Drawing parallels between him and Casey, we observe their shared interests, habits, and even physical positions. Yet, the question lingers: Could JLB have sinister intentions? The film thrives on keeping the audience guessing.
The Blurred Line Between Fiction and Reality
A prominent theme within “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” is the loss of control. The World’s Fair Challenge brings about a disconcerting effectâ€”an involuntary loss of body control. In one video, a player is seen involuntarily slapping himself on a treadmill, seemingly unaware of their own actions.
However, the overarching theme revolves around the blurred line between fiction and reality. The Internet has significantly eroded this boundary, granting individuals the freedom to do and be anything they desire. Consequently, every symptom experienced by the players could potentially be an effect of The World’s Fair or merely a result of convincing acting and immersive role-playing within the game’s realm.
Casey finds herself convinced that she is undergoing a transformation, expressing the feeling of detachment from her own body and being transformed into someone else entirely. The audience is left grappling with profound questions regarding her experiencesâ€”Is she truly changing? Is she forging a new identity? Or is it all a product of paranoia? The film purposefully treads the line, leaving viewers with room for personal interpretation.
A Gripping and Thought-Provoking Horror Experience
While “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” occasionally loses momentum, it remains an effective and unsettling horror film. Jane Schoenbrun’s DIY digital style crafts an intentionally paced narrative that simultaneously intrigues and disturbs. The film forces us to confront the impact of the Internet on reality, teenager disaffection, online identities, and the accompanying sense of alienation.
In particular, Casey serves as a poignant representation of a disaffected teenager searching for something beyond her mundane existence. The solace she discovers online offers comfort, even though the psychological consequences are deeply troubling.
“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” shines a discomfiting light on the digital world we inhabit and the intricate interplay between fiction and reality. Through the lens of engaging characters and a gripping storyline, the film urges us to question our own online experiences and the potential ramifications they hold. The captivating performances, unique directorial vision, and thought-provoking themes make “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” an unforgettable horror experience.
1. Is “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” based on a true story?
No, the film takes inspiration from creepypastas and the blurred line between fiction and reality but is not based on a specific true story.
2. Are there any jump scares in the movie?
No, “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” deviates from conventional horror tropes and does not rely on jump scares. However, it maintains a consistently eerie and unsettling atmosphere.
3. What is the significance of The World’s Fair Challenge in the film?
The World’s Fair Challenge serves as a catalyst for the events in the movie, blurring the line between fiction and reality and prompting Casey’s exploration into the unknown.
4. How does the film explore the theme of online identity?
“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” delves into the concept of online identity by illustrating the allure and consequences of assuming different personas in the digital realm.
5. Can you watch “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” online?
Yes, the film is available to watch digitally and on demand, allowing viewers to dive into its thought-provoking narrative from the comfort of their own screens.