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ikkegoemikke's Movie Reviews (555)

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We Are Still Here 
An old-school ghost story that ends as a splatter
3/4 stars

"Moving away from the city isn't the same as moving away from the memories. He's always going to be with us. Annie, honey, yes, in our hearts but not in the house."

My perseverance was rewarded once again. After seeing several horror movies which failed in terms of originality and execution, I was pleasantly surprised by this retro-feeling horror. After reading the synopsis, you'll be expecting a typical "haunted house" story. For the umpteenth time a nasty, old house will be used that'll get you the chills just by looking at it. A kind of "Villa Villekulla", standing somewhere completely abandoned, in an abominable condition. Probably some spooky stories circulate around about it. Despite the well-known clichés, also used in "The Amityville Horror" and "Poltergeist", they tried nevertheless to give it an original twist. The result is a vintage horror situated in the 70-80 years (thanks to the cast) with a contemporary touch.

This time it's not a bunch of good-looking teenagers in a perfect made modern horror. So perfect that when someone's being killed it's imaged flawlessly. In this movie Anne (Barbara Crampton) and Paul Sacchetti (Andrew Sensenig) play a central role. It's an older couple trying to cope with the death of their son by moving to the countryside in New England. Immediately upon arrival Anne feels that the spirit of her deceased son is present. And after some paranormal events she decides to invite her best friend May (Lisa Marie), who has some experience in paranormal phenomena, and her husband Jacob (Larry Fessenden), an empty-headed hippie who most likely has his own ghostly apparitions due to the amount of weed he smokes. Despite the skepticism of Paul who doesn't really believe in such nonsense.

They've asked some veterans, who showed up already in a whole series of horror classics, for help. First there's Barbara Crampton, best known from "Re-animator" (you could admire a lot of her in that movie), "From Beyond", "You're next", "The Lords of Salem" and "The Well". Lisa Marie acted in "Sleepy Hollow" and "Tales of Halloween". And then you have the famous Larry Fessenden who appeared in an infinite number of films such as "Late Phases", "Pod" and "You're next". Although the start was rather predictable and not exactly uncharted territory, the film surprised me completely towards the end. The transition from a traditional, old-school horror with vengeful spirits who get all the attention, to a slasher full of splattering blood and exploding heads, happened subtle. Fans of horror full of paranormal events and fans of the more gore flicks, can enjoy themselves with this original and fun movie.

Best part of the movie were the from a barbecue removed charcoal-like entities, who stare at you with those empty, soulless eyes. In the meantime they crackle and sparks are swarming around them. Despite the fact that you know where and when they will appear, I was still startled several times. Also, their behavior differed from similar movies. They appeared both day and night. And they moved even to locations outside the home. This intensified the feeling that the persons involved weren't safe anywhere at anytime. The fact that the events are linked to a secret the locals are aware of, created a mysterious atmosphere.

Movies like "We are still here" are rare to find nowadays. They've flirted a bit with the reputation of horror films from the 70s. But at the same time they've still managed to mix a unique, modern concept in it. One advantage was the playing time. Not because it would be finished quickly (although this applies to many movies), but because it benefited the pace. The run up has a certain leisurely pace. But as soon as all hell breaks loose, you can expect a chaotic, bloody denouement. I certainly give this a huge recommendation. Every horror fan will enjoy this.

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