Old Haunts, New Fears
by Brody Rossiter
Still mourning the sudden death of their son, Anne (“Scream Queen” Barbara Crampton) and Paul Sacchetti (Andrew Sensenig) retreat from the city to a new country home in the snowy New England Hamlet of Ayelsbury. Despite their new home’s cosy and quaint appearance, something deadly still lurks in the basement, something which has remained for decades and isn’t fond of new arrivals.
Anne attributes a series strange happenings that occur inside the house to her son, Bobby, believing that the student still has unfinished family business. She invites New Age couple May and Jacob to celebrate the move and uncover the truth behind the ghostly activity. Quickly the pair of seasoned psychics realise that Bobby left for good the day of his deadly bike accident, and what lingers below is shrouded in death and despair and hungering for new blood.
We Are Still Here is essentially three, classically influenced horror movies in one: a chilling haunted house ghost story, a fearsome tale possession and a gory exploitation fest. In the same severed vein as The House of The Devil (producer credits are shared between the two films) We Are Still Here perfectly captures a late 70s/early 80s vibe thanks to evocative set and costume design. The unsettling locale dominated by empty inhospitable expanses and claustrophobic premises populated by hostile locals constantly hints at the secrets suppressed deep beneath the Anne and Paul’s new home. Sequences wildly flail between downright unsettling to stomach churning with great aplomb, offering a highly rewarding and eventful 80 minutes.
Ted Geoghegan’s directorial debut is one of great contrasts, simultaneously providing contemporary twists while also scrawling a love letter to cult favourites all over the walls of the besieged home. The re-emergence of the vengeful Dagmar family and the uncovering of their fiery tale provides perhaps the most satisfying and bloodthirsty horror film of the year and an essential addition to your All Hallows’ Eve.