We Are Still Here (2015)
Believe the hype.
We Are Still Here is a great story well told. It is a movie best approached knowing as little as possible beforehand. It is also the kind of movie we horror fans hope to see every time we sit down to watch something new. That is no easy feat in this day and age where every genre and sub genre of horror movies has more and more requirements, tropes, and unspoken rules with every passing year.
We Are Still Here is a ghost story so right of the bat there is a list of must-haves that the audience is expecting. Things like spooky atmosphere, jump scares, twists and turns, “look out, he’s behind you”, noises in the house, a cellar or attic where you really don’t want to go, dark secrets, mystery, and ghosts. Without wishing to spoil all the fun and games of We Are Still Here suffice to say that it delivered on all my expectations and also added excellent acting by all concerned, great FX, insane gore-gore-gore, and behind the camera there is solid direction, editing and cinematography.
It is 1979 and Anne and Paul Sacchetti (perfectly played by Scream Queen Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig) are a couple of months down the road from losing their adult son in a car crash. Hoping a change of pace might help heal the wounds they move into a “nice old house in the country” known to the locals as “the Dagmar house”. As a welcoming neighbor explains the house is so-called because back in ye olde dim and distant past some the Dagmars were run out of town after some scandalous “troubles” occurred. You get the picture. Anyhoo the Dagmar house has been vacant for thirty years, they got it for a steal, so what could possibly go wrong?
I loved We Are Still Here so much I watched it twice in two days. The first time I was just pulled along on the rollercoaster. The second time I got to sit back and enjoy how well written, directed, filmed, and paced this movie is. It is a joy to behold. Kudos to director Ted Geoghegan, cinematographer Karim Hussain, and editors Aaron Crozier and Josh Ethier.
I am loathed to single out any one actor as they are all pitch perfect for me so here goes some kudos all round. Barbara Crampton is awesome. As a horror community we need to appreciate what a stellar actress this Scream Queen is. Andrew Sensenig plays the doubting everyman perfectly and I look forward to more from him. Lisa Marie, Michael Patrick, and Kelsea Dakota did not act like they were from the Seventies, it was as if they were teleported through time to appear in the movie. They rocked. Monte Markham, Susan Gibney, and Connie Neer were sublime as the archetypal “locals” who you don’t know if you can trust or not. Finally it was so much fun to see Larry Fessenden give in to his inner Jack Nicholson and let it all hang out. Top, top cast.
We Are Still Here delivers.
8.5 out of 10
Heroes: Everyone involved. High fives all round.
Two word review: Scary good.