We Are Still Here review: Frightening and moving, this is a solid horror film…

We Are Still Here review
We Are Still Here review

Director: Ted Geoghegan
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 83 minutes

Synopsis: A grieving couple become prey to a group of vengeful spirits.

Producer and writer Ted Geoghegan lands with his debut feature film as a director. The Lucio Fulci inspired horror is a very classical tale within the genre, keeping things hauntingly simple. You have a bereaved couple escape to a new home where the locals are weird and the noises at night even weirder. That’s all you need to know, and there are some surprises along the way.

Taking his inspiration very seriously, Geoghegan and cinematographer Karim Hussain, have created an elegant throwback and homage to 70s classics. The film looks so much like a 70s film, it looks more like a restored classic than it does a recent production. This is also aided by set design and costumes that seem to take place out of any particular time period or definite setting.

We Are Still Here review
We Are Still Here review

There’s strong drama at the core of We Are Still Here as married couple Anne (Crampton) and Paul (Sensenig), travel to a new home in the hope of moving on from their son’s tragic passing. Crampton’s performance is understandable and moving as her search for closure causes her to misinterpret some ghostly goings on. As Anne’s hope that it is her son reaching out to her, we’re left with a bittersweet taste of melancholic tragedy.

When the paranormal goings on begin Geoghegan shows his form and confidence with the genre. Scenes are epicly scary in places, with devilishly designed ghouls being absorbed into their backgrounds. With so many shadowy corners, you’ll be unsure as to whether your eyes are playing tricks on you, or if there really was something scuttling across the floor.

We Are Still Here review
We Are Still Here review

Familiarity with previous films is the one drawback to We Are Still Here, which at times is just a tapestry of what has come before. It does mix some elements brilliantly though, with a bunch of Wicker-Man locals adding mystery and flesh crawling moments to make sure those immune to ghosts also feel a twinge of fear. Let’s face it, paranoia and peculiar locals could hold their own against any spectre.

The climax to the film goes all out bloody in a refreshing surprise from what has come before. It certainly entertains, but whether or not it was necessary is another matter altogether. The best thing about We Are Still Here is that it tries, and that deserves some credit. Many films rest on their laurels, but here we have some talent that knows how to effectively use their inspiration. Frightening and moving, this is a solid horror film in a crowded genre.

We Are Still Here review, Luke Ryan Baldock, August 2015.

We Are Still Here screened during Frightfest 2015 and will be released on DVD on 19th October 2015.