We Are Still Here
…aaaand we are predictable.
And comically dopey.
We Are Still Here is a period horror film (specifically, the 70’s) that, despite an interesting premise, falls flat on its ghostly, demonic face. As the film opens, a mother (Anne Sacchetti) is grieving the recent loss of her college-student son. As you would expect, her husband (Paul Sacchetti) decides that moving to a new house in the country will help her recovery. Also as you’d expect, said house is a creepy, nineteenth-century dwelling that was (surprise!) the scene of horrific events, and is now haunted to the eaves with no shortage of things that go bump-in-the-night.
Sure enough, Mom wakes in the middle of the night, convinced her deceased son’s presence has made the move to the new digs as well. Furthermore, she is convinced he is trying to communicate with her, but alas, Mom is not so fluent in ghost-speak. No problem – Mom’s BFF just so happens to be a psychic! How ’bout that!
Mom invites her BFF to spend a weekend with her and her husband, who brings along her stoner husband, a character whose sole purpose for being in the film is comic relief, most of which winds up being unintentional. You’re probably going to hate this movie, Deadies – but stick around for the seance sequence, which features the stoner hubby. That scene is so unintentionally hilarious that it alone deserves some sort of cult status! No spoilers, but that scene involves a sock, and summed up perfectly how I felt about most of this film.
Despite SO MANY scenes involving clueless white-bread folks doing clueless white-bread things (example: “What was that sound? Well – better go poke around that dark, creepy basement!”) and minor characters getting disposed of with such fierce predictability that it would embarrass even the most forgettable of the Friday the 13th victims, not ALL of it was terrible.
I liked the cinematography, in particular the second-unit material, which mainly consisted of shots of snow-covered countryside with the wind howling through barren trees. Those shots are gorgeous, frame-worthy moments in an otherwise forgettable horror picture.
Also, there’s the performance of veteran character actor Monte Markham, whose trademark smirk is well-suited to the film’s human villain, Dave McCabe. Mr. Markham’s presence is a welcome one, teasing a larger, potentially more interesting story behind the laughably inept spooks and scares. Sadly, that larger story falls short in its attempt to separate itself from the familiar tropes.
It’s a shame, too. We Are Still Here had the elements of a decent scary movie, had it gone in a slightly different direction. I’m confident a more skilled director could’ve delivered that.
Instead, we got an over-cooked hash of a horror film that winds up as a throw-away, rather than the throwback it wanted to be.
We Are Still Here is available on Netflix and DVD.