There are precisely three things in the entire world that I love more than a good ghost story: Cheeseburgers, balancing ice trays on the way back to the freezer without spilling water, and all-you-can-eat Chinese food at a reasonable price. That’s it. Unfortunately, that automatically eliminates We Are Still Here from being my favorite thing in the world, but, being my fourth favorite thing is still something to be proud of.
We Are Still Here is a horror film written and directed by Ted Geoghegan. The film stars Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) and Andrew Sensenig as Anne and Paul Sacchetti, grieving parents who are being attacked by vengeful spirits in their new home. Upon arriving, Anne (Crampton) believes the spirit of their deceased son, Bobby, to be present within the house. After receiving an ominous warning from a neighbor to leave the house, Anne is undeterred. She invites her friends May and Jacob Lewis (Lisa Marie and Larry Fessenden) to come and stay, as they are both spiritualists who may be able to contact Bobby. Needless to say, things don’t quite go as planned – providing the audience with an intense viewing experience.
We Are Still Here is something of a miracle. This is a slow-burning film with very subtle horror that also happens to be explosively violent and gory – a factor that should please fans of different subgenres. Geoghegan masterfully blends the bare bones ghost story with brutal violence in a way that is completely satisfying, bringing forth familiarity while also crafting something wholly unique within itself. Geoghegan doesn’t spoon-feed his audience. Even the ending is left open enough for the viewer to form their own interpretation. We Are Still Here suggests a bright future for Geoghegan as a horror director, and I can’t wait to see more from him.
Let’s talk about the cast for a minute.
The acting in We Are Still Here is top notch across the board, with each actor fully committed to their role. If you need an example of this, according to the films commentary, Barbara Crampton did research into people whose children had died, with director Geoghegan claiming, “It became quite heavy for her to constantly be thinking about the agony of losing a child, and there were days where it became so much for her that we’d actually have to pause and she’d have to take a few moments.” Sounds rough, but that grief is prevalent in her brilliant performance. Larry Fessenden is another highlight, too, in a scene involving a seance. As a whole, the perfection of every actor involved is mind-blowing.
While I personally love a slow burn, there’s no doubt that not everyone feels that way. Patient viewers, however, will be rewarded tenfold by all of the glorious things We Are Still Here has to offer. The film is at once, smart, twisty, chilling, and brutal – featuring great performances across the board and boasting a beautifully creepy setting. We Are Still Here is one of the best horror films of the decade and it more than deserves to be my fourth favorite thing in the entire world.
My Score: 4.5/5