we are still hereDark Sky Films
2015
NR

“It’s been 30 years since we’ve had fresh souls in the Dagmar house.”

After their teenage son is killed in a car crash, Paul and Anne move to the quiet New York countryside to try to start a new life for themselves. But the grieving couple unknowingly becomes the prey of a family of vengeful spirits that reside in their new home, and before long they discover that the seemingly peaceful town they’ve moved into is hiding a terrifyingly dark secret. Now they must find a way to overcome their sorrow and fight back against both the living and dead as the malicious ghosts threaten to pull their souls–and the soul of their lost son–into hell with them.

According to IMDB, there are several other movies that bear the title We Are Still Here. I don’t know if they all have the same premise as this one we’re reviewing, as I was too lazy to check all of them out at the time of this writing. I nonetheless included the year in the blog title just in case anyone is also aware of this and gets confused as to which movie they’re reading about. Because I care.

Anyway, this particular bearer of the title We Are Still Here involves a couple who are moving into a house out in a rural New England town in the year 1979, with hopes to start a new life after the death of their college-age son prior. The house is not without its…quirks, which the wife considers to be signs of their son’s spirit hanging around, and the husband considers to be signs that the house is old and needs some upkeep work. That doesn’t stop her from inviting over their hippie friends to try and get in contact with the spirit, in case it really is him, to attempt to help him stop free-loading and move on to the other side, man. Or, whatever lingo it is hippies use, I don’t know. And the locals are acting weird, because of course they are. Only, it turns out it wasn’t the spirit of their son that’s haunting the house, but the vengeful spirits of the family that was burned by the townfolk back in the middle of the 19th Century, and every forty years they require a sacrifice of a new family to dwell in the house for them to kill, so that the town has another four decades of good luck. Or something. Wackiness ensues.

Part Poltergeist (the good one, not that crappy remake), part Wicker Man, We Are Still Here is a good, effective slow-burn New England Gothic tale that worked effectively on many levels, from the tense vibe, to the bleak atmosphere due to both the winter setting and the depression of the couple because of their situation, to the build-up of the story down to the effects of the final reel when the supernatural show-down in the house happens, We Are Still Here was a pretty decent ghost story. I’m told this was inspired by the movies of Lucio Fulci. I’m afraid I have yet to delve into his movies. And I can’t recall if this was given a theatrical release, or just went straight to video. Regardless, if you’re in the mood for something more than your standard splatter-and-boo scares, check out We Are Still Here some time. At least to watch hippies die horribly. Fun times.

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