We Are Still Here is heavily inspired by Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento and other 70’s Euro-horror, but mainly, Fulci and The House By The Cemetery. This is the type of horror that amazed me when I was young, the horror that ignited a burning life-long passion for the genre, and left a mark on me forever. So to see someone’s tribute to some of my all time favourites was just a pleasure to watch.
When Hollywood started to embrace the slasher genre we started seeing the groups of teens, the drinking, the drugs, the sex, and then the inevitable machete through the side of the head (please note, there is still nothing wrong with drinking, drugs, sex, and a machete through the side of the head). Geoghegan has combined his admiration and love for 70’s Euro-horror with a modernised vision to give us a classic haunted house tale with a modern twist.
The story follows a married couple called Anne (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator, You’re Next) and Paul (Andrew Sensenig, Upstream Color) who are mourning the tragic and untimely death of their only son. They have decided pack up and move to a house in the countryside to escape the surrounding memories and try to focus on a new life.
Not long after they move into the house, strange things start to happen. Anne thinks that the spirit of their dead son is present in the house, but something isn’t right, these strange happenings are mainly coming from the basement, and if it is their dead son, then he isn’t a very happy ghost. A short time later, some neighbours drop by unannounced to welcome them to the town. Over a glass of whisky, they tell them of the history of the house and the horrible things that happened there in the late 1800’s.
Anne then decides to call her friends (Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden) who are spiritually connected with the afterlife. She asks them to come from the city to do a séance to try to connect with whatever spirit is in the house. When Anne’s friends arrive, they realise that what they are dealing with is family of vengeful spirits who awaken every 30 years to feed on the souls of a new family.
A lot of the scares in We Are Still Here happen during the day and catch you unexpected. Usually with a horror film, we wait until the sun goes down before the madness begins but with We Are Still Here there is continuous scares right up until the film takes a completely different direction .
When you least expect it, Geoghegan shows us why this is a tribute to 70’s Euro-horror. In the blink of an eye, We Are Still Here moves from a classic haunted house melodrama to a full-on splatter-fest, with enough carnage and bloodshed to satisfy any gorehound’s hunger
The use of actors were a great choice, it is refreshing to see a horror film that doesn’t revolve around a group of teens getting hacked to bits.
I have revealed as little as possible about the plot. This is a film that you should go into blind, and appreciate with a fresh set of eyes and ears.
A brilliant directorial début from writer/director, Ted Geoghegan, and a stunning tribute to the classics. We Are Still Here is a film that feels familiar and original at the same time. A film that is miles different from the overpopulated and regurgitated movies in the horror genre that we have all become numb to.
Great to see films like this getting released and it is awesome that we have production companies like Snowfort Pictures & Dark Sky Films that give the green light and push to get films like, We Are Still Here out into the world.
I look forward to more from Geoghegan and his team.