Horror Club: We Are Still Here
Written and directed by Ted Geoghegan, We Are Still Here premiered to the world back in 2015 at South By Southwest festival and it has been haunting fans of the horror genre since. It is a freaky, unsettling film that has jump scares right where they should be, a house that eats people, and of course, what any good horror movie has: a town that has a terrifying and dark secret.
The year is 1979, and the lovely couple Paul (Andrew Sensenig) and his wife Anne (Barbara Crampton) and looking for a fresh start following the death of their son Bobby, who died in a fatal car accident. The pair decide to move to rural New England, where the town is small, everyone seems to know each other, and the spot seems like the perfect place to grieve and begin a new chapter of their lives. It doesn't take long, however, before Anne begins to claim she can hear the voice of Bobby echoing throughout their new home. Paul is pretty skeptical about the whole thing, but he tries to go along with it to support his wife. After meeting the new neighbors, Paul and Anne are warned: they need to get out of the house, and they need to get out quick. The pair are told the origin of their new home: the house was built by the Dagmar family, and it was intended to be a funeral home - that was, until the family was run out of town by the community for their malicious work. It was believed that the Dagmar family was selling the corpses of the towns family members and burying empty caskets in the graves! Pretty messed up- and certainly a good reason to be chased out of town.
Anne decides she needs to find out of the voices she is hearing throughout the house actually belongs to her deceased son, Bobby. So she enlists the help of her friends May and Jacob, who are the parents of a boy named Harry who was friends with Bobby and even shared a dorm with him. May and Jacob believe that they are capable of sensing the presence of the dead, so it was no question for Anne and Paul to ask them for their help in reading their new home. Harry arrives (with his girlfriend) at the house a few hours after his parents, and when the adults are out to eat, the first death occurs: a strange entity in the basement of the house (a charred figure) brings Harry's demise, as well as that of his girlfriend. The reign of death has officially begun.
Shortly after, the dark secret of the town is finally addressed, and it paints a clearer picture of what exactly is going on in this little town. Dave, the neighbors' husband who seems to have a close eye on the town, reveals that the house needs to feed! Every 30 years, the house needs to consume a family! Failure to do so, and the evil that resides in the house will unleash upon the town, seeking fresh souls to consume; so naturally, the townsfolk are fairly worried the evil will destroy the town, so they have come to the understanding that there must be a family residing in the house for it to consume, and that family is Paul and Anne Sacchetti.
It is right around this time that the movie takes its truly dark, twisted turn. As the wives are out grocery shopping, Jacob convinces Paul that they need to perform a seance to figure out the dark forces surrounding the house that they don't believe is Bobby. Paul agrees, and as they perform the seance, Jacon ends up becoming possessed by the spirit of Lassander Dagmar - the father of the family who built the home. Lassander uses Jacob's body to communicate with Paul, and explain to him that the story they were told about the Dagmar family was a lie: they weren't chased out of the town, they were used as human sacrifices to the evil that dwells beneath the house! As the wives come home, they are clearly freaked out and May ends up getting killed by crazy Dave, just after the demon inside of Jacob manages to overpower Jacob and make him kill himself. As all this chaos ensues, Anne can hear Bobby in the house yelling for his parents to get out, and the townsfolk begin breaking into the house to make sure the house gets its food! And to find out what goes on from there, you have to see We Are Still Here!
This movie was overall a great film for a number of reasons. I'm a fan of movies with a slow build up that eventually leads to all out chaos. We Are Still Here did not give the impression, at any point throughout the film, that it was going to get as gory and violent as it gets during the final scenes of the movie. While some may complain that the movie is way too slow to start, I think the build up was a good pace and the pay off was definitely worth it. The evil spirits are totally horrifying - their appearance alone is creepy, unsettling, and made for a great set of characters. Anne and Paul, as well as their friends May and Jacob, were very likable, and while I didn't feel attached to any of them at all, their personalities all went really well together and made for some entertaining moments. But the thing that really caught my attention and held it was that dark secret the town kept; once it was finally revealed, you knew it was going to only get crazy from that point on. The movie is also beautifully shot, and everything is very visually appealing. The gore is an excellent added feature, and definitely gave the film just that little bit of extra that it needed. Overall, We Are Still Here is an awesome take on an overdone concept, and it's definitely worth the watch if you are into flesh eating houses!!