We're All Going to the World's Fair

We're All Going to the World's Fair ★★½

Rather than loneliness, I think the best material in We're All Going to the World's Fair deals with online friendships – coming across a weird guy via a shared interest and trying to parse whether what they want from you is genuine connection or something more sinister, and the interminable distance that crosses your mind whenever someone's wellbeing is in question. This theme is underscored by the sharp directorial choice to only let the audience view Casey through her videos once the plot starts properly.

On the whole, though, I feel like the package is kind of uneven. The creepypasta angle in particular feels a little undercooked; the juxtaposition of ASMR videos and online horror as opposite forms of comfort and belonging is a compelling idea, but I'm just not sure if the film really goes anywhere with it. Similarly, the YouTube-as-performance theme is dropped pretty quick when the film decides to laser-focus into the relationship between these two people. That kind of seems like a problem in general – the core of the story does not feel that informed by YouTube as a medium or a platform, which is a shame since the formal elements surrounding that aspect work so well.

Maybe We're All Going to the World's Fair is just so busy pulling from different influences and varying conceptions of what the omnipresence of the internet means for people growing up with it that it fails to coalesce into a story with a sense of specificity. Less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately.

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