We Are Still Here
Directed by Ted Geoghegan
After the death of their college age son, Anne and Paul Sacchetti relocate to the snowswept New England hamlet of Aylesbury, a sleepy village where all is most certainly not as it seems. When strange sounds and eerie feelings convince Anne that her son's spirit is still with them, they invite an eccentric, New Age couple to help them get to the bottom of the mystery.
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★★★½ review by Katie on Letterboxd
WHY DON'T Y'ALL JUST... LEAVE THE HOUSE????
★★★★ review by bree1981 on Letterboxd
Frightfest 2015 Film # 6
A haunted house movie that's well written with some good humour and some great performances from it's refreshingly more mature cast.
Paul (Andrew Sensenig) and Anne (Barbara Crampton) have just moved from the city to the New England countryside after the death of their son in an auto accident. Anne, who is still grieving from her loss starts to get strange vibes from the house and comes to believe that the spirit of her son is still watching over them but after a strange visit from a local couple who inform them the previous owners operated a funeral parlour from the house and died under mysterious circumstances Anne and Paul begin to suspect something more sinister is at work.
This has the feel of a classic 80's horror film, from the way it's shot to the slow burning style which lets us get to know the characters and drip feeds us key information as it goes along. The acting is strong throughout with Crampton excellent as the emotionally crippled mother just about struggling to get by, while genre favourite Larry Fessenden add's some much needed comic relief as a hippy who appears alongside his spiritualist wife (Lisa Marie) to conduct a seance, Monte Markham also leaves an impression as the creepy neighbour who knows more than he's letting on.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, it has the right mix of scares and humour, a fantastic gore filled ending, the director does a good job of building up a tense atmosphere and the mostly practical effects look good, highly recommended.
★★★★ review by Tears_in_Rain on Letterboxd
When I was around 11 or 12 years old, my father and I lived in a house similar to the one in this film, in a fairly isolated rural area. One of the things that really stood out to me about that house was the basement. It had rough stone walls and a dirt floor, and it was dimly lit. More importantly, however, was the fact that a large portion of the original basement had been walled off, and the windows in the walled off section had been boarded up so you couldn't see in from the outside. There was a hole in the wall that looked almost exactly like the one in the film. That wall, and its hole, sent my imagination into overdrive, wondering, and worrying, what was on the other side. The other messed up thing about that house, was that the entrance to the attic was in the bathroom, right next to the shower. I could never take a shower without worrying something was going to come down out of the attic. To make matters worse, my father often worked nights and would leave me alone in the house. I would stay up all night, with every light in the house on, watching television with a fireplace poker in my hands. It was difficult to get food from the kitchen because that's where the door to the basement was, and if I had to go to the bathroom I would go off the back porch (Just number 1, if it was 2 I'd hold it). It's a good thing this movie didn't exist yet because, if I had watched it back then, I'd have called Children's Aid on my dad and gone to live in foster care.
As for the movie itself, it was clearly made with a lot of love and affection for the genre. There's a ton of references, particularly to Italian horror films. It's not exactly your typical haunted house film, with ghosts that behave more like a slasher villain, dispatching people in gory fashion quite frequently (Yeah, I know, I just said ghosts don't do that in a previous review). It would've been nice if it had done a better job maintaining the creepy atmosphere that it has at the beginning. Furthermore, it doesn't spend enough time building up tension, and it releases the little bit of tension it does manage to generate too early in the film. With that said, however, I was still entertained throughout its 84 minute runtime, and particularly enjoyed Barbara Crampton's performance. I can sort of see why it gets a lot of bad reviews though. It's probably not for everyone.
★★★★ review by Nexkez6 on Letterboxd
"Here I am with you nice folks no more than five minutes and I'm already knee deep in devils."
Believing that the spirit of her recently deceased son is with them after moving to a house with a history in a sleepy New England town, Anne and Paul Sacchetti (Barbara Crampton & Sensenig) invite their spiritual New Age friends May (Lisa Marie) and Jacob (Larry Fessenden) over to help them possibly make contact but there's more to this mystery than a haunted house, of which the locals are well aware.
What begins as a fairly standard haunted house picture, though eerily atmospheric, grows into a tale of mysterious ancient evil and by the finale becomes a fantastic Fulci inspired gorefest and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Given a vintage vibe from it's 70's setting and open about it's influences, writer/director Ted Geoghegan has taken individual pieces of horror movies and tales and created something that on the whole felt fun and interesting.
Beautifully eerie shots of uninhabited spaces with the isolated snow covered exterior making a nice contrast to the fire that burns within the house. Performances that vary in quality and do give the film a dose of humour but I liked them, with Fessenden going a little Jack Torrance in a moment of possession, Monte Markham is great as the sinister local who knows more than he's telling and Barbara Crampton is simply wonderful.
A prominent place for J&B scotch whisky (oddly flipped as B&J here), the charred remains of the dead with burn into your flesh and come out the other side, gunshots ring out at the door, a warning note from a petrified woman, pulled through the burned stairs, blood shower in the basement and with that glorious piece of head destruction I too had a smile on my face at the end.
★★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
We Are Still Here is not only an effective slow-burn ghost story but also a terrific throwback to old-school horror, with strong characters and direction, terrific performances (Barbara Crampton being the standout), excellent cinematography, a creepy atmosphere, and an intense and brutal climax.
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