NEXT EXIT is a new sci-fi ghost story with a dark comedic twist and a road trip plot. Currently screening at Fantasia 2022 which is the international premiere. Its brilliant casting and strong story make for a great movie. Read our full Next Exit movie review here!
NEXT EXIT is a new movie that can only be described as a genre hybrid. From the official material, it’s called “Equal parts ghost story, misfit road movie, speculative science-fiction, and tragicomedy”. All of which sums up the contents of this movie perfectly.
Also, the cast – with Rahul Kohli and Katie Parker in the leading roles – is absolutely stellar. This movie is so full of heart and heartbreak. Also, a fear of a bad life as much as a lust for a really good life.
Continue reading our Next Exit movie review below. We’ve screened this film at Fantasia 2022.
Rahul Kohli and Katie Parker are perfect!
While the two main characters come from very different backgrounds, they both have a cloud hanging over them. Whether “real” or imagined, this darkness looms over them both at all times.
However, Teddy (Rahul Kohli) seems to be taking a more upbeat and positive approach since he’s about to finally make a name for himself. Rose (Katie Parker) continues to suffer in brutal ways and drinks constantly in an attempt to numb the pain.
These two actors have brilliant chemistry so it’s easy to see why they were cast in these roles. Also, both characters are extremely important to the plot, so it really wouldn’t work if these two actors didn’t. Especially in terms of getting through to the audience in exactly the right way.
From heartbreaking to heartwarming – and back and forth a few times – Next Exit delivers on a character-driven story set in a world that is both very familiar and new. After all, we are also dealing with a sci-fi element here!
Six degrees of Mike Flanagan
You know the whole “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”-law that states anyone can be connected to Kevin Bacon by six or fewer links? Well, Next Exit is clearly that… but with Mike Flanagan. And really, only one degree (or link) is necessary.
Because fans of Mike Flanagan (and we are huge fans of the writer-director here at Heaven of Horror) will quickly recognize the two leading actors of Next Exit from Mike Flanagan productions.
Rahul Kohli has played memorable roles in Mike Flanagan’s Netflix productions The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass. The latter was snubbed brutally by the Emmy nominations, getting not a single one! Katie Parker was in both The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor.
And yes, both Rahul Kohli and Katie Parker are part of the upcoming Netflix series from Mike Flanagan titled The Fall of the House of Usher.
Also, the woman that the two characters – Teddy and Rose – are going to see, is portrayed by Karen Gillan. She also starred in a Mike Flanagan movie back in 2013 with Oculus. And yes, the debuting writer-director of Next Exit has also worked with Flanagan. Of course!
Next Exit screening at Fantasia 2022
Mali Elfman is the writer and director of Next Exit and it’s her feature film debut. And yes, the name Elfman does mean she’s related to brilliant composer Danny Elfman – she’s his daughter. However, in terms of filmmaking, it seems there is also a connection to Mike Flanagan. Mali Elfman was a producer on Before I Wake (2016).
It’s difficult to explain this movie and do it justice. Calling it a sci-fi ghost story with a dark comedic twist is probably as close as I can get. Just know that it’s so much more than that.
Mali Elfman has crafted a movie that is so full of life and heart – which is ironic given its core plot – that you’ll find yourself smiling one second and feeling angry or sad the next. All of it is a part of life! And so, despite following Teddy and Rose on their way to end their lives (in this form, anyway), you can’t help but love the adventure.
NEXT EXIT has an international premiere at Fantasia on July 18, 2022.
Director: Mali Elfman
Writer: Mali Elfman
Cast: Karen Gillan, Katie Parker, Rahul Kohli, Rose McIver
One day in a future so near it may well be next Wednesday, everything about the ways that we relate to death changes. Research Scientist Dr. Stevenson (Karen Gillan) has discovered that “ghosts” are demonstrably real, in that existence continues beyond the end of physical life. Through her groundbreaking technology, deceased persons can now be identified and tracked in the afterlife. A call goes out for volunteers to further her research.
Two strangers, Rose (Katie Parker) and Teddy (Rahul Kohli), each struggling with personal demons, choose to sign up into the unknown. They will exit their earthly lives to become a part of history and to maybe, possibly, find something closer to happiness in wherever their afterlives may bring them. Fate has them splitting a car rental, and they embark on a drive across America to meet their destinies.