The “Next Exit” in this Supernatural Road Trip Is To Fantasia 2022 & A Better Future

29 Jul

Next Exit PosterTo be fair, anyone going to see Next Exit because of Karen Gillan will be disappointed. She only has a small part. Instead, it’s about Teddy (Rahul Kohli) and Rose (Katie Parker), who think that they have no reason to live anymore. It’s hard to tell that they are depressed and wish to end it all. But after getting a call from Stevenson’s Life Beyond institute, they’re on a road trip to be test subjects about the hereafter.

Apparently, Research Scientist Dr. Stevenson (Gillan) discovered a way to track the transition of a person’s soul as it moves from life to death. Sadly, that means anyone wanting to be a Ghostbuster may no longer be needed. And anyone who wants to “move on” isn’t lining up! Well, not yet. The concept is brilliant because of my interest in the paranormal, because I often wondered if we can observe terminal lucidity. Or rather, what does losing 21 grams mean?

This film by Mali Elfman offers ideas most paranormal investigators are keen on wanting answers to for years! I’m only disappointed that we don’t get a lot of discussion about this subject in Next Exit. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it. Movies are always about the characters we meet first and realizing the world second. Here, we’re dealing with two folks wanting to end their lives but end up talking about their feelings through in classic road trip movie fashion. The end of the road usually means they have found meaning and become closer as friends.

Next Exit

Amusingly, Teddy and Rose don’t even like each other when they first meet. Soon, they discover a few things in common and realize life is worth living.

Elfman’s work is thoughtful and contemplative. I even wondered if these two would fall in love during their “final journey.” They do have a choice to leave when they drive by a next exit sign. As for actual paranormal activity, we see little. Rose has some ghost following her, but I don’t want to say too much more since it’s a massive spoiler.

Ultimately, the tale concerns these two looking the meaning of life. The tale showed they can be who they want to be. I’m glad this movie is more of a contemplative character drama rather than speculative fiction. And regarding what these two individuals learn, is that the Next Exit sign means it’s never the end, but a new beginning. Rascal Flatts sang it best, “There’s a world outside every darkened door where blues won’t haunt you anymore.”

3½ Stars out of 5

Next Exit Movie Trailer

This movie screened at Fantasia Film Festival 2022 on July 23.

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