31 Days of Halloween – Day 13 – We Are Still Here (2015)

here7Today I review a movie from 2015 for my Halloween marathon and you’ve got to be impressed by that.  Seriously, this movie was released THIS YEAR.  Even I’m proud of myself.  Anyway, as I come back to the modern day, I can tell you that this is a movie I’ve heard a lot about.  Just like I found It Follows (2015), I heard We Are Still Here (2015) was a good movie and decided to check it out.  

here4This movie has a similar vibe to many other movies I’ve seen, but I can’t seem to name.  It has the ‘newcomer to town’ vibe and a mega-haunted-house vibe, as in The Amityville Horror.  The movie plays with a lot of bumps, noises, and a creepy vibe, but it all hits the fan in the third act.  The whole thing has a personal touch.  The score is understated or left out altogether, which could be bad or good depending on your opinion.

The themes are laid on quite thick in this one.  It’s obvious from frame one that an older couple is dealing with pain.  We later learn that they lost their son in a car accident.  “We are still here” is the most literal movie title ever.  The theme is living with pain. Yeah, I got it after about 5 minutes of red eyes from the main characters.

Other than the themes, We Are Still Here has everything else in just the right amounts.  There’s no excess of exposition or supernatural mumbo-jumbo.  There’s a haunted basement in the house, which is tied up in the town’s history, and all that is explained by one of the senior members of the town.  He’s also wrapped up in the conspiracy.  I could tell that this guy knew more than he let on, because he had that stupid old man smile and a weird smirk.  Monte Markum played the old guy and he does an alright job making the stupid exposition into a nice story.

here3An older couple moves into this house to start fresh after their son’s death, but it’s obvious they stepped into the wrong shithole.  There’s a lot of framing, and panning the scenery, as the director hopes to inspire our love of the outdoors or something.  It’s like watching a David Lynch movie or friggin Stanley Kubrick all over again.  The mother thinks her dead son is in the house, but her pals say he’s not.  Then he is.  Then he’s not.  Then he speaks to them.  So I guess he is?

here6The movie doesn’t hide anything and you’ve got to respect it for that.  It sets up this creepy vibe, throws in a conspiracy, and dumps out some blood and gore at the end.  The ghost family living in the basement decides to come up and see how everybody’s doing.  They recognize that the new couple in their house is also living with pain.  They have a bonding moment.  How nice.  That’s actually sarcasm.  Is this a horror movie or Dr. Phil?  Seriously.

In all, this movie cost me five bucks and I guess it was worth it.  The mood is good and the dashes of humor work well, but they don’t go overboard.  I was just not too impressed by the bump scares, but those were just the appetizer before the main course, so I can’t complain too much.  I think they could have gone further with the themes.  They didn’t have the actors to support anything like that.  It’s a shame, because this movie has a great feel and an excellent visual style, but it doesn’t go far enough to blow my socks off.

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31. Poltergeist (1982) vs Poltergeist (2015)
30. Blair Witch Project (1999)
29. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
28. The Wicker Man (1973) and The Wicker Man Remake
27. Tales from the Darkside, the Movie (1990)
26. Saw (2004)
25. The Prophecy (1995)
24. The Hills have Eyes (1977)
23. House of the Long Shadows (1983)
22. Creepshow (1982)
21. Phantasm (1979)
20. The Omen (1976) vs Damien: The Omen II
19. We Are Still Here (2015)
18. The Guest (2010)
17. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
15. The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
13. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
12. Friday the 13th Part III
11. Theater of Blood (1973)
10. House of Wax (1953) vs House of Wax (2005)
9. Hellraiser Inferno (2000)
8. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
7. The Changeling (1980)
6. The Eye (2002)
5. The Hitcher (1986)
4. Paranormal Activity (2007)
3. 28 Days Later (2003)
2. Suspiria (1977)
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – This review will be published October 31st!

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