We Are Still Here (2015)

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When will you silly people ever learn? When the house starts doing weird shit, get the hell out of it. And when in doubt, keep away from the basement.

A grieving couple must face human adversaries as well as ghostly ones when they move into a isolated, spooky old house in “We Are Still Here,” a fun, over – the – top, and delightfully gruesome (if sometimes painfully cliched) indie horror flick. All the markers are there of a Hollywood ghost film – a couple too stupid or too skeptical to leave a fucked -up ghost inhabited house, creepy sounds, things that go bump in the night, sinister locals, and a ball that goes bouncing down a set of stairs when – wait for it – nobody threw the damn thing to begin with!

What separates this film from others of it’s ilk, for better or for worse, a  whole lotta gore.Things go squish and people become human soup a lot more than is typical (or perhaps necessary) for this type of film. The acting is dodgy, although the two leads (Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig) are surprisingly good. Crampton is surprisingly touching as a mother who recently lost her child in a film that, to be honest, generally doesn’t allow for much pathos.

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Crampton and Sensenig play Anne and Paul Sachetti, a couple devastated by the loss of their teenage son a few months prior. They maintain a affectionate, if somewhat stagnant relationship and Paul tries his best to comfort Anne amidst her deepening grief. Paul moves Anne to a remote house in the country in hope that a change of pace will be beneficial to her. No sooner have they moved in than Anne begins feeling her dead son’s presence.

She tries to tell her husband she believes that the old house is haunted, but he remains ever the skeptic, trying to talk some sense into the troubled woman. Soon thereafter, the couple, fist Anne, then Paul – are haunted by visions of a burnt -up family. Against her husband’s wishes. Anne invites over two hippy -dippy friends of her’s – good -humored stoner Jacob (Larry Fessenden) and flaky psychic May (Lisa Marie) to conduct a seance, which is when, as they say, shit gets real.

All this is set in the dead of winter, filmed so that the viewer can practically feel the cold brushing against their skin. I haven’t seen such a chilly wintery horror film since “Let the Right One In.” And this is no “Let the Right One In.” But it’s fun, a spooky, cheesy Halloween time diversion. It walks the line between creepiness and outright (intentional?) comedy, sporadically collapsing in a heap into pure camp. Come on, guys? Who else laughed when the possessed guy swallowed the sock? It was hysterical! It can’t be only sick, jaded bitches like me who find this shit funny!

Simply put, I wasn’t scared by this movie. But I was entertained. The director does a decent job building tension and the gore (no pun intended) is to die for. I can understand why people wouldn’t like this movie. A lot of aspects of it are, for lack of a better word, weak. But as a bombastic, bloody whole, it’s worth a watch by horror fans who like cheeky, subversive gorefests that maybe can’t compare with the spookier, more atmospheric horror flicks, but are decent scare films in their own right (even if this one didn’t scare me as much as keep me in stitches.) I didn’t look away from the screen once, didn’t get bored with the goings-on, didn’t check the time. Shouldn’t that count for something?

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