We Are Still Here Blu-ray Review
It’s winter. Snow and ice surround every road and every tree. It should be another hour or so before Paul and Anne reach the house. Anne is more concerned that the picture will be hung in the right place.
The picture is of Paul (Andrew Sensenig, Shane Carruth’s UPSTREAM COLOR) and Anne’s (Barbara Crampton, who will be best recognized by horror fanatics for her turns in RE-ANIMATOR and CHOPPING MALL) son. The married couple has grown apart since Bobby’s death and the move is intended to be a form of therapy. But the night they arrive, Paul goes to the bar and Anne merely sits. During the day, Anne, flashlight in hand, investigates the basement. She hears peculiar noises around each corner. Then one of Bobby’s autographed baseballs falls down the steps and the viewer wonders if they’re actually seeing a shadowy figure…“I can feel him here,” she tells her husband. Paul is skeptical of Anne’s thoughts of hauntings, despite the hints laid out for him by a neighbor (Monte Markham, whose film work dates back to the ‘60s), who informs the Sacchetti’s that the house used to be a funeral parlor and the owners were run out of town after being accused of selling corpses. There’s also a note that reads: GET OUT.
Anne insists that their psychic friend May (Lisa Marie, who appeared in such Tim Burton movies as ED WOOD and SLEEPY HOLLOW), her husband Jacob (Larry Fessenden, horror anthology THE ABCS OF DEATH 2; he also wrote and directed 2001’s WENDIGO) and their son/Bobby’s former roommate Harry (Michael Patrick, in his feature-length debut) come for a visit, if not just to further explore the “strange aura” inside the walls. They might even find a thing or two out about the town’s inhabitants…
WE ARE STILL HERE is an atmospheric chiller where not only does the environment feel unsafe (courtesy of cinematographer Karim Hussain, who also lensed exploitation sendup HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN), but so, too, do most of the characters (the outsiders are uneasy or paranoid and the townspeople move as if they’re in the community cult). There is a feeling of certain doom, and when combined with the horrifying encounters with corpses and burn victims, the movie establishes itself as one of the more memorable horror movies of the decade, up there with THE BABADOOK and IT FOLLOWS.
Writer/director Ted Geoghegan’s directorial debut, which no doubt took partial inspiration from films like THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, grabs the viewer with its atmosphere and keeps them with its creepy storyline and unsettling visuals. WE ARE STILL HERE is just the sort of entry that serious horror fans wait for and don’t expect to be topped by year’s end.
Video: 2.35:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Details are strong, black levels are deep and the overall atmosphere is presented superbly.
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles in English. Dialogue is clean and the sound effects greatly enhance the film’s fright moments.
Commentary with writer/director Ted Geoghegan and producer Travis Stevens: Geoghegan and Stevens offer a thorough commentary in which they reflect on movie’s conception, production, cast, locations and much more.
Behind the Scenes (7:04) includes interviews (with Geoghegan and Stevens) and on-set footage.