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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

We Are Still Here (Dark Sky Blu-ray)

My first viewing of We Are Still Here was not quite what I had expected. I knew that the movie featured Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden and that it was some kind of a ghost story. The poster art was gorgeous, and really made me think of the artwork for House of the Devil (a favorite poster of mine). Beyond that info I kept myself pleasantly in the dark as to what I might expect from the movie. Then I watched it and enjoyed certain aspects of it, but there was something about the way in which the story unfolded and the effects that didn’t quite sit right. I didn’t understand the Lisa Marie/Fessenden characters and thought of them as moderately hokey. I second guessed myself after having numerous conversations about the movie with trusted friends. Was I so wrong about these characters and the general flow of the movie? Sometimes you just have to rewatch a movie after it’s been primed in your brain. With overwhelming opinion being positive about this movie, I was happy to get another shot at it now that Dark Sky Films has put it out on Blu-ray.  This was a much better experience than my first one.

After having seen the movie once before I was ready to deal with the sudden introduction of several new characters and could appreciate their parts in the movie. That’s not to say that some of the humor in these scenes didn’t detract from the overall spooky nature of the movie, but I already knew about that. I was ready for it and let it roll off my back this time. I still don’t love some of the burn/ash effects, but the overall use of violence is effective separated from the burn effects. Crampton is lovely as always; I enjoyed her performance upon the first viewing and perhaps even more so this second time now that I could wipe away some of the confusion.  Andrew Sensenig and I may be at odds though. He seems to be my primary issue with the characterization. I suppose I trust Crampton as a mother who lost her son more than I believe Sensenig as the son’s father. The Dagmar’s… are beloved. Excellent characters, genuinely creepy.

I love the nod to Joe the Electrician (perhaps in remembrance of Joe the Plumber from The Beyond?) 

 

If you need an atmospheric tale with a haunting presence, mysterious intention and brutality, We Are Still Here has all three things and a solid cast. This is a great October feature releasing October 6th on DVD and Blu-ray. Let it scare you. Perhaps watch it twice understand better some of the pacing and exposition. It’s more than an average ghost story. Ted Geoghegan takes his first directorial, feature film effort and does a great job, putting a lot of scares on screen with a small budget and an amazing cast.


From Dark Sky:

WE ARE STILL HERE is an atmospheric, classically constructed haunted house story, but with modern, heightened tension and action. After their teenage son Bobby is killed in a car crash, Paul and Anne Sacchetti move to an isolated 19th-century house in the New England countryside to try to start a new life. But soon the grieving couple begin to sense they are not alone in the old house. The Sacchettis' psychic friend May arrives to investigate Anne's hopeful feeling that Bobby's spirit is also there.

Unknowingly, the Sacchettis become the prey of a family of vengeful spirits that reside in their new home, and before long they discover that the seemingly peaceful town 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.

Bonus Material:
Commentary with Writer-Director Ted Geoghegan and Producer Travis Stevens
Behind the Scenes
Trailer

Teaser

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