For the past twenty years, horror films have gradually become increasingly predictable and unexciting. Only recently have films like The Conjuring, You’re Next, and It Follows shaken things up, showing us signs of a genre that was once loaded with subtext and skill. Writer/director Ted Geoghegan throws us back to the seventies with his wonderful feature film debut, We Are Still Here.
Horror legend Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, You’re Next) stars as Anne Sacchetti, a mother desperately grieving the loss of her son Bobby. In an attempt to move on, Anne and her husband Paul (Andrew Sensenig) move to an isolated house on a hill. One evening neighbor Dave McCabe (Monte Markham) shows up on their doorstop. He welcomes himself in for a scotch before telling the Sacchetti’s of their new home’s disturbing history. After some spooky encounters, Anne begins to believe that her son is trying to make contact. As the strange occurrences become more and more dangerous, Anne and Paul have to come to terms with the fact that the spirits haunting their home may not be their son’s, but rather the long deceased Dagmar family coming to take revenge on the new residents.
One of the many things that make Geoghegan’s film so great is his approach. He allows the film to be terrifying, yet still manages to sneak in some great humour. That is not to say that We Are Still Here is a horror-comedy, because the film is always first and foremost a scary movie. With the help of an excellent performance by Crampton, there is an extreme sense of sadness that pervades throughout the entire film. Even at her most terrified, Anne is grieving mother, and this can be seen even when she is fighting for her life.
We Are Still Here makes for a great horror experience. Do not let this one slip past you, as its truly one of the best haunted house films to date.