What would it feel like to be transported into a horror movie? Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair introduces us to an online role-playing horror game that’s gone viral. Teenager Casey (Anna Cobb) has decided to enter into the World’s Fair Challenge, completing her initiation and subsequently recording herself along the way to document any changes she may undergo. 

The opening shot alone is enough to bring chills down your spine. As Casey speaks directly into the camera for her small audience, her eyes are full of fear, the light from her computer illuminating her impending tears. “I want to go to the World’s Fair,” she repeats three times, sounding as if she’s summoning a dark spirit. 

Cobb and Michael J. Rogers both deliver haunting performances here. Cobb introduces enough vulnerability in the beginning to make her slow transformation into someone almost unrecognisable all the more terrifying, aided by Rogers’ mysterious, unsettling character whose intentions remain questionable.

World’s Fair exists online; a good portion of this story is told through webcam footage and videos from others online, which makes it feel claustrophobic at times, but in a way that’s very necessary for the story. As Casey is trapped in this screen, you feel as if there’s no way for her to escape. It’s doubtful at times as to what’s real and what’s simply a show put on for the sake of a video, and this adds to a heightened level of fear.

A large theme in World’s Fair is loneliness. The videos we see of Casey’s life and the lives of others all seem so isolated, where the only thing that ties them all together or gives them purpose is doing this challenge and completely losing themselves in it, and if anything, that’s the scariest part of this film.



CAST: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers

DIRECTOR: Jane Schoenbrun

WRITER: Jane Schoenbrun

SYNOPSIS: Casey takes on the World’s Fair Challenge, an online role-playing horror game.