After two grieving parents move into their new country home in New England, odd things begin to happen. Something is alive in the house and it wants something. Could it be a spirit of their dead son or something far more sinister?
We Are Still Here is a 2015 horror film directed by Ted Geoghegan. It stars the legendary Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie and Larry Fessenden. It had a limited release by Dark Sky Films, being shown in a few theaters and going straight to demand services like Netflix and Prime. It was given praise by critics, even labelled one of the best horror films of the year.
It’s 1979 and we’re following Anne and Paul Sacchetti, two parents grieving over the death of their son Bobby. To console their loss they purchase and move to a country home in New England. Soon Anne starts seeing strange things happening around the home and believes the spirit of their son Bobby is present. After being told and warned about the history of their home, the Sacchetti’s reach out for help. They contact their friends May and Jacob Lewis, two self proclaimed spiritualists that want to help Anne and Paul reconnect with their son. What we come to discover is the house is far more darker than a simple haunting. We learn that a family named the Dagmar’s once lived there and were brutally killed by the towns people. They awaken every thirty years and prey on whoever is living there. If not then there vengeful spirits will prey on the entire town until the blood lust is quenched.
We Are Still Here is one of the best modern horror films that I’ve seen and I would suggest everyone check out. Normally, I’m not a big fan of ghost movies because I see them as over done, get rich schemes by Hollywood. I know most horror movies like slashers and monsters films have gimmicks but ghost movies always seem to have the dumbest gimmicks of them all. Plus if I have to see another ghost movie featuring another single lady or a single mother anymore then I’m going to lose my shit! But this one is pretty damn good. It closely resembles 1981’s The House by the Cemetery, where we have a single couple moving into a house that holds a terrible dark secret. Actually, each character in We Are Still Here is named after a character from The House by the Cemetery.
What I love most about the film is it’s lifeless cold tone. I actually grew up in a similar town in upstate New York for a while. So I can identify with the blistering frozen tundra of the land during it’s brutal winters. It is as if time and life has all come to a stand still. The earth is hard and the air is sharp, forcing folks to stay indoors. Most people remain dormant and often develop depression. It creates a certain sense of emptiness which completely parallels the struggle Anne and Paul are experiencing over losing their only son. The winter season feeling and lack of background music sets the mood of whats going on with our two characters. Anne and Paul move into this house and are engulfed by their anguish.
We Are Still Here is a great slow burning horror induced ride that certainly makes up for a wide range of crappy ghost movies in recent years. The acting is spot on and I absolutely love Barbara Crampton. Her character of Anne is the main focus of the film, as she’s the one experiencing this odd presence in the house. She seems so tortured in grief over her son and you can truly see it in her face. While Paul is sort of maintaining as little composure as he can. They both have a great chemistry and there’s never a boring moment that makes you not want to turn away. There’s a welcoming change when Anne and Paul’s friends May and Jacob show up. They’re a more lively couple with a more eccentric way of thinking. But it’s at this moment that the movie starts picking up the tempo and moves into a more horror element with great twists and turns.
I love the way things go from ten to one hundred miles an hour in this movie. There’s a great build up to this insane ending which (in my opinion) makes it such an awesome film. We go from traditional ghost movie, to siege movie and then to a complete and amazing massacre! All towns have their secrets and this one plays on the idea of a terrible secret. But from the views of the home owners and less from the towns people. We get small clues along the way as to what is wrong but never a clear understanding until the very end.
It’s a well crafted movie with practical effects and an ingenuity for making a great horror. I’d like to see more horror films from Ted Geoghegan in the future. If he can make a ghost movie that is actually terrifying and well made like We Are Still Here then I’m all for it. Geoghegan seems to understand that simple is better and you don’t have to fill a movie with pointless jump scares and Scooby Doo style writing. Geoghegan purposely set the film in the seventies because he hates modern technology like cell phones and computers. He thinks they ruin horror and he’s absolutely right. Everything seems natural and we are more involved with our characters. The effects of the ghosts were done with natural make up and took over two hours to apply. The ghosts are these burned figures and they’re scary as hell. You see them very little but it’s enough to peak your interests and offer a positive climax.
So go ahead and check out We Are Still Here. It’s an amazing movie that will truly blow your mind in the end. It’s why this movie has been chosen for Horror Movie Marathon 2018.