We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is a 2021 movie written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun and starring Anna Cobb.
Wow. I’ve been meaning to watch this one for a while and I’m glad I finally did. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair tells the story of young loner Casey, who decides to take part in the viral World’s Fair challenge that’s going around the internet.
Anna Cobb is absolutely masterful as Casey. She sells this character completely. I saw a lot of my younger self in her. A horror obsessed semi shut-in desperate to connect to the outside world. In my mid 20s I had a phase where I’d go on deep dives of all the viral youtube horror content. I remember binging two seasons of Marble Hornets in a single night and staying up until 5am. Casey watches ASMR videos and other bizarre youtube fare, clutching her stuffed animal trying to fall asleep.
After taking the challenge, Casey documents the changes she starts feeling on her own video challenge before being contacted by JLB who tells her that she’s now in danger. The scene where Casey describes what she’s feeling and going through since the start is powerful. She struggles to put the right together and seems to withdraw even more, explaining that she’s not very good at talking to people.
Throughout the movie we’re treated to unsettling videos of more people who have taken the World’s Fair challenge, describing their mental and physical ailments as they slowly succumb to the unknown.
There are a lot of really cool shots and scenes in this movie. Writer/Director Jane Schoenbrun expertly captures the loneliness of Casey and the unsettling world of internet horror legends.
JLB played by Michael J Rogers is a sad and creepy character. He reminded me of an adult version of Casey. A deeply lonely person struggling to find attachment to the world around him. He reaches out to Casey trying to help her, studying her videos and encouraging her to make more to ward off whatever curse they both seem to believe exists, but there’s still something unsettling about a dude in his 40s watching and deeply analyzing videos of a sleeping teenage girl.
This movie was unsettling, haunting and beautiful. Anna Cobb has a bright future and I am excited to see more work from Jane Schoenbrun.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair had a limited theatrical release in 2022 but is listed as a 2021 movie so I’m not sure whether to include it on my best of 2022 list or not, but if I do, it’s ending up near the top.