We Are Still Here (2015)

Plot Overview

After their son is killed in a car accident, Anne and Paul move to an old house in the countryside. The house is filled with the angry spirits of a family killed there long ago, and the house demands a sacrifice.

Review

The acting is awful. Really awful. Within a few minutes of beginning the film, I was groaning at the dialogue and acting and didn’t even think I’d be able to make it through the film. The film also starts off very slow and this didn’t help. Although the acting and dialogue never improve, the rest of the film does get better.

I’m not the biggest fan of haunted house films generally because they are more generic than slashers. This film doesn’t do much new story-wise; a couple are grieving after losing their son, they move into a creepy house, a creepy dude comes over and tells them about the tragedy that occurred there many years ago and the couple call over a psychic friend. Eyes rolling by this point. Although it’s slow, it’s actually fairly snappy and does this all at the beginning to set up the story and let it go crazy later on.

Instead of relying purely on jump scares, it builds up atmosphere and has some creepy CGI ghosts. It still has jump scares, but instead of making these quick shocks that cut to black, it keeps going; making these scares much more effective than usual. It doesn’t shy away from the violence and the gore. This is pretty much what makes the film work so well. It’s not a typical kiddy ghost story. These ghosts are angry and violent and kill. Violently.

Summary

The bad acting and dialogue meant the film lacked a real emotional core as well as preventing it from being truly scary – when there was a creepy moment, it would be immediately followed by terrible acting and me laughing. It does genuinely have some creepy moments and some nice atmosphere though. And the violence and gore makes it seem all the more ‘real’. I normally don’t find ghosts ‘scary’ because all they seem to do is slam doors and smash cups, but these ghosts are seriously hateful and angry and brutal. My rating is quite generous and purely because I was entertained and impressed by the latter half of the film, initially it was looking at a 4 if it was lucky.

Rating: 6/10

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