Hallow-vent Calendar - Day Eight: We Are Still Here

Welcome to our Hallow-vent Calendar; a horror-film-filled daily countdown to our favourite spooky celebration, Hallowe'en. It's already Day Eight and, as David Ames discovers, We Are Still Here...

Holy wow. Those are the first two words that came to mind when I finished 2015’s We Are Still Here. Ted Geoghegan’s haunted house horror film delivers on multiple levels and when it is all said and done, you end up in a place completely different than you initially began. This film takes a well-trodden genre, the haunted house story, and turns it on its head. I personally couldn’t be happier.

When the film first begins, we are introduced to a couple who has recently lost their son to a car crash and has moved to a new, very small, town to try and restart. The wife is suffering greatly, not able to pull herself out of her depression and the husband is in turn trying any and everything to help her through. When she begins to experience strange things in the house, she becomes convinced that her son’s spirit is there with them. As things progress, it becomes very apparent that her son is far from the house.

I don’t want to spoil this movie at all. I went into it, basically blind, other than some positive reviews I had read. In fact, the beginning felt a little underwhelming. It wasn’t bad really, it was just a little slow, and so I settled myself back and waited for the slow burn to subside. Luckily, after about a third of the way into the film, it takes off and, in the midst of this acceleration, coats the walls, ceilings, floors and cars with blood and viscera. And that first Gunshot - I was completely caught off guard.

The monsters look amazing, genuinely creepy across the board, and the gore is spot on. If you like to see fountains of blood, you will enjoy this movie. Luckily, the gore that is used is somewhat tasteful, if that comment can ever truly be used in reference to gore. It isn’t just blood for blood’s sake. Every ounce of bodily fluid on the screen has a specific purpose, as does the haunting and the creatures who terrorise.

Actually, the scariest part of the entire film was what it said about humanity as a whole. The scene of the couple hiding in an upstairs bedroom as a hoard of sane, living humans traverses a snowy landscape and begins to break into the house (think Night of the Living Dead) is actually really effective and it adds an entirely new dimension to an already great movie.

My only complaint about the entire film is that some of the acting, especially the dialogue between the husband and wife, comes across as relatively wooden and half-hearted most of the time. It doesn’t really pull you out of the action and it isn’t that bad the entire movie but if I had to pick something I didn’t really like, this would be it. Although, that is a small thing to give up as the film delivers on so many levels.

If you like haunted house films, this one is meant for you. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any stretch of the imagination but its subtle into intense shift of focus and the additions to a well-tread plot all make this film definitely worth watching.

Image - IMDb

Find all 31 Hallow-vent articles here.

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