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A thoughtful and clever road trip through death and regret

Life after death has a complex relationship with meaning. For a long time, and for many people, the idea of ​​an afterlife where bad deeds were punished and good deeds rewarded had many satisfying implications. Considering that throughout history the majority of people have lived very difficult lives and suffered greatly, the thought of abandoning this world’s suffering in favor of the next world’s reward is very comforting. Besides, the thought of some kind of eternal life can ease the fear of death.

of Next exit, Mari Elfman’s film subverts that idea to see what the afterlife could be like if it were more than prayerful hope. Why not move on, cross over and just die? The film exists in a world where the afterlife has become scientific fact, suicide rates are skyrocketing, and there is a collective sense of meaninglessness.

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the scientist (Played by Karen Gillan In its lesser-used but humorous and vicious parts) organized a Kevorkian-style laboratory where medical professionals study and record the act of assisting suicide over the course of their next life. Rose and Teddy (both (played by the astonishing Katie Parker and Rahul Kohli) each sign up as volunteers for this deadly experiment, getting to know each other (and why they want to die) during the long drive to the lab.

Parker and Cori drive to death on the next exit

Next Exit stars Rahul Kohli and Katie Parker in a car
magnet release

Next exit A somewhat simple film, but surprisingly indescribable.Mixing buddy comedy with great American tradition road trip movies When dystopian sci-fi An emotionally poignant family drama, all tied together by a supernatural concept that borders on horror. Next exit Hard to label and define. That’s good, but it can hinder the film from finding an audience (or encourage the wrong audience).

Rose is cynical, somewhat cruel, but also a very complicated person. She may be wearing a shirt that says “I’m Over It.” She first saw her selling someone a cheap TV. When he hits her, she throws the TV down her stairs and takes his money out the fire escape. She falls into a cycle of self-loathing, which may be familiar to some. When she allows herself a vulnerable moment, realizing she’s making a decision she later regrets, she becomes embarrassed and self-destructive, reinforcing her walls to make him even more difficult. to reach more.

Related: Exclusive: About Rahul Kohli’s new movie Next Exit, Mike Flanagan, and Our Godless Universe

Teddy, on the other hand, is a rather hilarious charmer who defends himself with humor and repression. He’s funny, cute, and a little obnoxious, but his dexterity looks like a tired bandage that slowly slides down, sometimes revealing an angry, injured boy underneath. Good nature wears down Rose over time, and they come to care for each other during their gray and desolate drive towards death.

Chemistry is perfect among Mike Flanagan’s old friends

Next Exit Stars Rahul Kohli and Katie Parker in Diner
magnet release

ever since Next exit We’re lucky that Rose and Teddy’s brief conversation is part of the film’s highlight. Parker and Cori’s chemistry is also a big aspect of their success.

Parker and Kohli don’t exactly have a ‘type’, but they certainly play their most famous roles. Another Mike Flanagan series (The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass, The Haunting of Bly Manor). In fact, Elfman himself served as a producer on his Flanagan project, and you can really tell they’re close to each other. Next exitThere is comfort inside and outside the screen.

Related: Exclusive: Rahul Kohli says he and Mike Flanagan ‘have big plans for the future’

Aside from these lengthy dialogue sequences, the multiple stops made during their journey each elucidate something personally or thematically important. Next exitor Rose and Teddy’s fragility (and let’s face it). There are some standouts, such as a bar drunk who, after a fun night of drinking, becomes violent when he thinks of the people he killed as a soldier abroad. Where do we stand with all the people we’ve hurt? All the people we’ve ignored? Maybe that’s why ghost stories are instinctively scary.

Another standout was when Rose and Teddy hit a man with a rental car. He walked out onto the road with a sign of apology. Next exit A person who wants to die but is too afraid (or religious) to commit suicide.A pastor helps them on the roadside, and the film indulges in highly intellectually satisfying theological moments. Next exit Philosophically and spiritually compelling, it poses complex questions and prompts a kind of not-so-easy empathy.

The next exit is more than research into suicide

Rahul Kohli and Katie Parker reflected in the bathroom mirror at Next Exit
No traffic for Ghosts LLC

Morbid as it may seem, movies about suicide are often great. There’s something inherently suspenseful and emotionally powerful about finally getting to know someone and discovering why (or if) that person committed suicide. cherry flavor, Leaving Las Vegas, wrist cutter, When On the count of three All really great movies Next exit Join their ranks, but it’s a little darker than watching Nicolas Cage drink himself to death.

In fact, it’s an often funny movie, where the humor comes organically from the characters. Moreover, it can be heartbreakingly sad. The moment that tears come outthe ending is a bit rushed, but very moving.All of this mostly works because everyone (including a short part from the excellent Rose McIver that starred with Cori) eye zombie) is perfectly dialed into Elfman’s very particular vibe, leading you through the darkness to a kind of peace.

Suicide is an important theme, and these characters go on a literal death march, but the film is ultimately hopeful. It refrains from giving a universal, spiritual, or moral answer, but shows the possibility of returning meaning to meaninglessness, even if temporarily. Next exit It’s more about death than life, and what kind of life is worth in itself, regardless of the afterlife.

Magnetic release brings Next exit In theaters and VOD on November 4th. A thoughtful and clever road trip through death and regret

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