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Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Review Of "We Are Still Here"

Ted Geoghegan's "We Are Still Here" is a dark, almost unassuming occultist nightmare. The film stars  Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham, Kelsea Dakota, Michael Patrick, Susan Gibney, Guy Gane III, Elissa Dowling, and Zorah Burress in a period ghost story that revolves around a house that harbors an evil that has one family, and the town it rests in, held in the grip of a truly terrifying haunting. (Cryptic I know, but I don't want to spoil this film by giving away key plot details.)

The story that Geoghegan, along with Richard Griffin, creates is a melancholic blend of casual attitude, and sobering horror. There is no overstated approach to building the paranormal aspects of "We Are Still Here", or that all too familiar "your so dumb that I am telling you the scary part is coming" staging. The almost comfortable character interactions and dialog seem to echo the the loss and sorrow that the two main characters feel in the story, which create a relaxed viewing experience so when the suspense leads into the scares, they often are pretty scary. The acting and situations don't feel contrived or forced. 

"We Are Still Here" does have an extra slice of the macabre with an "American Gothic"/"Twin Peaks" type of community that surrounds the country home with a dark, historical back story. Evil people do evil thinks when faced with evil. That is all I will say about that part of the story. Anyway it takes the paranormal, ghost story to another level of nightmare that doesn't happen often in films about haunting. Plus it begs for a sequel, and further exploration into the house's history and the evil within. 

The special effects are pretty well thought out and executed. There are elements that pull from classic horror, which considering that "We Are Still Here" is a period piece set in the 70's, just helps create that creepy atmosphere that classic horror films seemed to have, that modern films often fall flat when trying to tap into. The creature effects are cringe worthy, and the chills are definitely effective. Actually if some of the cast weren't so recognizable, you would forget that this is a recent film, and think that you ran across good old horror from way back when! It is quite surprising just how well the production value, set design, and attention to detail "We Are Still Here" contains. Much like "The House Of The Devil", this flashback horror is entertaining, creepy, and - when it needs to be- chilling!
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