If you’re looking for a nice throwback to old school horror, look no further than “We Are Still Here”, being presented for the first time in Canada at the 2015 edition of Fantasia’s International Film Festival.
Set in the 1970s, Anne (Barbara Crampton; “Re-Animator”; “From Beyond”) and Paul have bought a house in the rural parts of New England, attempting to start anew after the tragic passing of their son. They invite two friends over, May (Lisa Marie; “Mars Attacks!”) and Jacob (Larry Fessenden; “You’re Next”; “I Sell the Dead”), to keep them company. Anne feels a presence in the house. She sees shadows; inexplicable noises are heard throughout the house; and a smoky odour is coming from the basement. The mourning mother believes it to be her son, attempting to make contact with his parents. It is not her son. It is something much more sinister. As the grieving couple were told by a local, which Anne sees as a positive statement, but truly is quite the opposite: “the house needs a family”.
In his directorial debut, Ted Geoghegan does not miss the mark. A well-constructed horror story with beautiful camera shots of the harsh, quiet winter, showing how cold and secluded the movie’s setting really is. The build-up is nicely put together and you don’t need to wait too long before odd things occur within the house. The storyline is interesting and the actors bring a lot to the screen: from the fragile innocence of Anne to the dry humor of Jacob to the dubious remarks of one of the locals. Some satisfying jumps are at hand with some gloomy villains.
The visual of the supernatural spirits could have been a bit more appealing, horror-wise, although I do understand the reasoning as to why they look the way they do (without giving anything away).
Overall, a satisfying movie that takes you back to old school horror with a well-developed storyline, deserving 4 stars out of 5.