Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


A demon from We Are Still Here
WE ARE STILL HERE (2015). Writer/director: Ted Geoghegan.

Anne Sacchetti (Barbara Crampton) and her husband Paul (Andrew Sensenig) lost their college-age son two months ago due to a car crash. The Sacchettis have bought a house in the small town of Aylesburg, where Anne can feel the young man's presence despite the fact he neither lived nor died in the house. Anne importunes her supposedly psychic friends, Jacob and May Lewis (Larry Fessenden; Lisa Marie) to come to the house and see if they can contact the deceased son. Unfortunately, May is convinced that there is something else, something evil, inside the place. In the meantime old Dave McCabe (Monte Markham) tells the Sacchettis about the weird history of the house and its owner, Dagmar. Then the killings start ... We Are Still Here is a fairly inept, highly unoriginal (and overly-familiar) combination of ghost-demon story with the "old-town-with-a-dread-secret" genre, and doesn't work as either. A large part of the trouble is that Ted Geoghegan is even worse as a director than he is as a writer, showing no panache at all and utterly failing to give the film its required atmosphere. The script has no internal logic and seems to plod from scene to scene with (often unaccountable) spurts of violence just to keep the audience awake. It all ends with a gory bloodbath (at least these gruesome effects are well done, for what it's worth), but there's something almost comical in how a very bloody head-gooshing scene is followed by a sappy and unconvincing mock-sentimental conclusion. The movie is a figurative and literal mess. Neither Crampton [You're Next] nor Sensenig manage to get across (except for some of Crampton's early scenes) that these are people who lost their son only two months ago. The only actor who comes across unscathed is Monte Markham [The New Perry Mason] as the elderly neighbor who is not as benign as he seems. Vaguely reminiscent in some regards of the vastly superior Burnt Offerings, but this picture borrows liberally from dozens of better movies.

One has to ask: why did this bad movie get so many positively rave reviews? Perhaps these particular critics are very young people who haven't seen enough horror movies, or haven't the critical facilities to recognize schlock when they see it. Apparently audiences weren't quite as enamored of the film as some critics were.

Verdict: A badly-directed home movie. *1/2.


angelman66 said...

I will skip this one, thanks for the tip. Maybe check it out when it shows up on cable!

William said...

Cable is the way to go for this one, although many, many people seem to have loved it. Who knows?