comedy & parody

[Movie Review] We Are Still Here (2015) ★★★★☆

Anne holding knives in We Are Still Here 2015

We Are Still Here is a highly original haunted house story descending into a fun finale full of chaotic campy madness.


We Are Still Here is a brilliant mashup that mixes a ghost story, a haunted house, ghosts, possessions and ultimate campy gore in a splatterpunk finale. It starts as a traditional haunted house story but soon throws all the conventional elements overboard and creates a fun and unique film that doesn’t care for the haunted house rules. But it doesn’t forget to create realistic and likable characters who carry this film in a great way. It makes an interesting, scary and very fun watch, with a finale you don’t see coming. 


Plot

Paul and Anne have just lost their son Bobby in a car accident and decide to move to Aylesbury, New England in the winter of 1979. Soon Anne notices some strange occurrences and thinks it’s Bobby trying to communicate with them. She calls in the help of her friend May who’s a psychic and she brings her husband Jacob with her. Their son and Bobby’s friend, Harry also decides to come and brings his girlfriend Daniella.

When they get an unexpected visit from some strange neighbors, Dave and Cat, they hear about the house’s sinister past and Cat secretively gives Paul a note that says to get out of there. 

As May tries to hold a seance, things are getting ugly and sinister quickly and the house and its ghosts have something to do with it, but that’s just a small part of a bigger even more evil truth. 


Why you would watch it

The film starts out very subtle and intimate, focusing on Anne and Paul, their grief and introduces their characters. It takes place in the winter and the beautiful serene shots of a white winter landscape are the calm before the storm.

It focuses mostly on Anne who’s desperately in need of some ghostly communication with Bobby, while Paul tries to stay rational and needs to fix the heating system. It’s a classical setup to a classical haunted house story with a ghost, but it has some fun surprises .

Slowly the atmosphere takes a turn. It starts with the arrival of May and Jacob, two very different characters from Anne and Paul. May is an eccentric medium and Jacob loves smoking his joint and they bring in a new and different tone to the film.

It takes a creepy turn when Jacob tries to hold a seance with Paul. Things start to spiral downwards very quickly, resulting in horror that goes from bad to worse and even more worse. Resulting in a campy gory finale.

It has a fresh structure and buildup and the shifting tones and atmospheres keep it intriguing and original. The cinematography even gets from serene and static to highly dynamic and playful, up to over the top chaos, experimenting with different angles, shots and framing. 

The seventies vibe adds to a more nostalgic time, without cell phones, with a stronger believe in mediums, Jacob’s hippe vibe, the set design and clothing and is a strong asset to the film without being too intrusive. 

It’s a highly imaginative, creative and original roller coaster of events that is well-crafted, adjusting the tone and atmosphere to the characters and the situation. It creates very funny scenes, scary scenes, tension and pure horror and over the top pure campy fun. It’s a most creative film that is a must see for horror fans who enjoy a fresh original take on a conventional genre.


My favorite part

Although you come to like Anne very quickly, the arrival of Jacob stirs things up a bit. He’s a fresh character and just the thing the story needs to get into a crazy gear. He turns things upsides down, doesn’t care for any rules and in doing so, totally freshening up a conventional genre. The seance and possession scene are great and such fun, while being disturbing at the same time. 

The arrival of Harry and Daniella is a fun intermezzo that also creates a different atmosphere and tone, making it more foreboding and uncanny. 

The twist of the plot, the ending and how it builds up to the epic finale is highly original and fantastic. The ending is admirable. It’s so much fun. Here’s when all hell breaks loose, and the creators and actors are having a hell of a time. The experimental cinematography, the highly graphic horror, the blood splatters on the cameralens, the chaos and carnage, the vengeful ghosts, Anne with multiple small kitchen knives, walls splashed with blood, all create over the top campy fun. This absurd and comical undertone is present during the whole film, but bit by bit gets more room to develop to finally result in a bloody party. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Gore factor: ★★★★☆

Scare factor: ★★★★☆

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Cast and crew

We Are Still Here is directed and written by Ted Geoghegan. It stars Barbara Crampton (Anne), Andrew Sensenig (Paul), Larry Fessenden (Jacob), Lisa Marie (May), Monte Markham (Dave), Michael Patrick Nicholson (Harry), Kelsea Dakota (Daniella) and Connie Neer (Cat). 

Music by: Wojciech Golczewski. Cinematography: Karim Hussain. Edited by: Aaron Crozier, Josh Ethier. Produced by: Travis Stevens. Production company: Snowfort Pictures. Distributed by: Dark Sky Films.


Check the trailer below