Directed by: Ted Geoghegan
Starring: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, Monte Markham
Anne and Paul Sacchetti, still in mourning after the accidental death of their son, move out of the city into an old house on the edge of a small New England town. As they try to come to terms with their loss and settle into their new home, small strange events begin to convince Anne that the spirit of her son is with them in the house. However, there may be something much darker already living within their new home...
The new horror We Are Still Here is a great rollercoaster ride - it has a great slow build to the midpoint, then lurches straight into gory mayhem.
One of the reasons this film works so well is that it gives us two very likeable characters in Anne and Paul. The two are struggling, but aren't wallowing in their sorry. When Anne starts to believe that their son's spirit is reaching out to them, Paul is naturally sceptical but doesn't get argumentative about it.
Of course we viewers know that there is something darker going on in the house. There's a touch of Fulci's The Beyond going on, with something lurking in the cellar (as the poor electrician finds out). And as the film progresses, we start to piece together the house's history and its significance within the town.
The film really starts to come together with a visit from Dave McCabe and his wife, who purport to be their neighbours. Their visit seems to act as something of a catalyst and gives both the audience and Anne and Paul some much needed background on the house.
To say more about the plot would be unfair, but its about the halfway point that the story starts to deliver on its atmosphere and sense of dread. There are elements of other films here, The Beyond, as mentioned above, but also Carpenter's The Fog. It also deals with one of my favourite themes in horror films, the idea of good men doing evil things for the Greater Good. This theme is particularly well done here, with the end credits delivering a lot of depth and colour to the story.
The performances at first come across as subdued - especially Anne and Paul, which is understandable in their situation. Even Dave and his wife, on their initial appearance, are a dry and stilted couple, who have begrudgingly made the effort to say hello to their new neighbours. However Dave's second screen appearance is really shocking and turns the whole film on its head.
The acting honours however must go to Larry Fessenden (Jug Face) as Jacob Lewis. Jacob is the husband of Anne's friend, May. May is psychic and the pair have been invited to stay in the hope that May can help them contact their son. Jacob is a lot more of a free spirit than the conservative Anne and Paul, and you get the impression that Paul has been rubbed up the wrong way a lot.
We Are Still Here is a great horror film which provides great atmosphere and some gory chills. Make sure you watch the end credits for some excellent last minute exposition. Highly Recommended.
9 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)