Back in October, I went on a personal binge of buying horror movies. I thought, “tis the season.” Really what do 90% of horror movies have to do with Halloween? Not much. I remember passing over a few movies, silly titles and not good box art kept me away. But one movie I came back to, time and again was We Are Still Here. The cover art grabbed my attention and the title was just so haunting. The title alone tells a story, in my opinion. But…I never pulled the trigger and to this day, I still do not understand why, it was $10. Do I regret not buying We Are Still Here? Let me explain as I try to review the movie.
The first thing I noticed, Barbara Crampton is in the movie and she is as lovely as ever. You might remember her from Re-animator, Chopping Mall, From Beyond. You’re Next and Lords of Salem. So, she is no stranger to being a part of a horror film. The rest of the cast, I was not too familiar with, other than Tim Burton’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie, age has taken its toll on her. For me the stand-out in this cast was Larry Fessenden, I will explain why later.
The movie takes place in 1979 and is about a husband and wife who move to a new home, in a new town after the tragic death of their son, Bobby. The story follows’ Paul an Anne (Barbara Crampton), Paul has hopes the move will be good for Anne, who has taken the death of their son very hard. Anne claims see can feel the presence of Bobby in the house. Strange things are afoot as Anne invites her friends, who are hippies and spiritualists who could help make contact with Bobby. Before their friends arrive the couple is greeted by Dave and Cat, Dave tells a little history about the house and Cat, in secret warns them to leave.
Before I drop any more important spoilers, that is all I will give you in describing the plot. The film is a slow burn, no pun intended…the pun will make sense. Anyhow, it is a slow burn that builds very slowly, but effectively. I love this style of horror film. The slow burn, getting some history as well. The house featured in the movie has a history and I love things like that, the deeper you delve into the movie, the more history you get, and watching the credits is worth it in this one.
I loved it! I regret not buying is back in the fall, I could have seen this a lot sooner, but when the credits ended, I jumped on Amazon and it is now on its way to be a part of my collection. That is the effect We Are Still Here had on me. This movie felt like something that did come out in the late-1970s. All of the characters are great and each is intriguing in their own way, especially Dave McCabe. What helps the film and the characters, they are relatively unknown. Sure, most horror fans know Barbara Crampton and maybe Lisa Marie, but the rest, I didn’t know. It made them more believable. Larry Fessenden, pictured above, was simply amazing. My wife called him a Jack Nicholson doppelganger, be brings a Jack Torrence (the Shining) feeling to the character, which I loved. He was a little crazy and it worked perfectly against Andrew Sensenig’s Paul.
The movie reminds me of a Ti West film called House of the Devil. The movies are not similar in plot, but style tone and feeling of dread. Both start slowly and continue to build and then, THWACK!!! right in the nuts. I love it, and I hope the writer/director would not take offense to that, Ti West is talented and the slow burn takes me back to the Shining in a way. Like of the House of the Devil, it really felt like the movie was from the late-1970s and I loved that, it didn’t have that “period piece” feel, it was more genuine.
Speaking of the director, Ted Geoghegan did a wonderful job of making this movie. He wrote and directed, that is ballsy and he killed it, tons of respect for a guy who can bring his vision to life.
We Are Still Here is terrific and I suggest seeing the movie. It is now available on Netflix, but take your cheap ass over to Amazon and buy this one. It belongs in every horror fan’s collection, hell the blu ray is less than $10. So go buy it, watch it and tell me what you think. I hope to see more horror films from Ted Geoghegan, this one was pretty great!
IMDB.com rates We Are Still Here at 5.7, too low. I rate it at 8.4, I loved it!