In the cold, wintery fields of New England, a lonely old house wakes up every thirty years – and demands a sacrifice.

We Are Still here might be one of the best films I’ve seen this year.  Director Ted Geoghegan’s horror experience has an intensity and a creepiness that is omnipresent in nearly every scene.  The film starts at a low burn and builds in force until the atmosphere is a frightening maelstrom of horror.

Genre stalwart Barbara Crampton stars as distraught mother, Anne, mourning the untimely death of her son. Along with her husband, Paul (Andrew Sensenig who starred in Sorrow which we reviewed earlier this year) the couple attempt to start afresh by moving to the countryside in an old rustic house.  As the story goes, the house comes really cheap but has some “baggage”.  Those issues come in the form of vengeful ghosts that feed on the living once every thirty years.

We Are Still Here is simultaneously ultra simple and interestingly complex.  What appears to be a routine haunted house film complete with doom saying neighbors morphs into something much more sinister and engaging by the films conclusion.  What really elevates We Are Still Here is the directing though.  Looking at Geoghegan’s resume, you might be tempted to pass him over as an amateur having no prior feature directing experience.  If you dig deeper you will find a number of impressive genre credits to his name as producer.  It must be here then that he gleaned the skills he puts to excellent use for We Are Still Here.

The film is incredibly slick.  Visually everything is produced with grace and flourish.  The suspense and scenes of ghostly terror are highly effective; managing to scare the wits out of you without resulting to lame tricks.  There is a punctuation of audio intensity that isn’t overwhelming like other less accomplished films (specifically slashers).  The film’s score packs the emotional wallop that the best horror films have.

Yet the film is not subtle.  What begins as highly unsettling cinematography, allowing you to catch glimpses of specters just out of frame, intensifies appropriately throughout the film.  So too does the violence, steadily ramping up until the gore becomes a character unto itself.  The effects are handled by Marcus Koch who handled the impressive gore effects for 100 Tears, and also directed that film as well, so rest assured that everything looks fantastic.

The one problem I had with the film is that the story and plot seemed a little tired….at first.  This changes by the end of the film and a weakness becomes an asset.  Initially, I was annoyed that events seemed to be coasting down a predetermined path, but without giving too much away this turned out to be a clever ruse.

I can’t say I fully understand everything I watched, but I find that to be immensely refreshing.  Although it’s simple and was perhaps very cheap to make, We Are Still Here is the kind of film that might reward a second viewing.  If nothing else, you’ll be drenched in blood by the conclusion.

We Are Still Here Poster