We Are Still Here, directed by Ted Geoghegan (writer of Don’t Wake The Dead), is being billed as the first “truly scary” movie of 2015, and it easily lives up to that marketing. As Geoghegan’s first film as director, We Are Still Here is a dark, heavy, slow-burn of a horror film that has a graphic, brutal crescendo that will leave you speechless.
The film follows parents Anne and Paul Sacchetti (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator, You’re Next and Andrew Sensening, I Love You Phillip Morris) who recently lost their son in a car accident. The couple move to a small New England town into a home that was once the local mortuary. Anne immediately senses a presence in the home, and holds onto the hope that it’s their son, Bobby. Skeptic Paul is less assured that there is anything amiss in the house.
When friends May and Jacob Lewis (Lisa Marie, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood and Larry Fessenden, I Sell The Dead, Stakeland) come to stay for the weekend, both also immediately feel something lurking in the house, and warn Anne and Paul that the spirit in the home isn’t Bobby, and is much, much more malevolent. After a séance brings forward an evil entity, Paul becomes a believer, and a literal hell is brought upon them.
The casting in this movie is amazing. Everyone in the film, especially the four main characters, are all extremely talented actors, several of whom are no stranger to the horror genre. Director Geoghegan takes his time developing the story, using the bleak, wintry landscape of his New England setting (actually filmed in New York, so – close enough, anyway) to build a deliberate sense of quiet, calm, and a biting dread. Long establishing shots at desperate angles are used multiple times, and bring a harsh look at the snow-covered fields and trees surrounding the house.
The story, which borrows several concepts from the Lucio Fulci film House By The Cemetery, is about a house that ‘awakens’ to feed on sacrificed souls every 30 years. Despite its roots, We Are Still Herestill feels fresh and new. This new film is a welcome addition to the haunted house genre of horror films; the kind of movie that the Insidious: Chapter 3s of the world wish they could be. Featuring a perfect mix of CGI and graphic, gory, practical FX, We Are Still Here is a beautifully shot, brutally violent movie that truly is frightening and definitely unforgettable.