Monday, 12 October 2015

No.249 : We Are Still Here

We Are Still Here at the IMDb

It’s winter 1979 and a middle age couple are heading towards their new Massachusetts home. We learn that they have recently lost their only son and the house, that they have bought cheaply, represents a new start. We know from the off that the house is a bit creepy and very beige, but the early signs of trouble are the usual false starts like a ball bouncing down the stairs and a broken photo frame.

They are soon greeted by a pair of neighbours with the man, Dave, strangely saying the house has not had fresh souls for 30 years while his wife presses a note into the woman’s hand telling her to get out of the house - she was unaware that her curtains were that bad.

They get around to unpacking and doing up the house but the sense of unease continues until an electrician, brought in to investigate a over hot basement, gets fried for his trouble. The suggested terror motif is quickly dispatched as he is confronted and Cajun cooked by some smoky figures with bright eyes. The couple aren’t put off - possibly because they got out of paying the electrician’s bill - but invite over a couple of relatives and their son and his girlfriend to visit.

The couple who are written off as ‘hippies’ have experience of the supernatural and the hope is that they can cleanse the house of the evil spirits and presumably the Kentucky fried electrician in the basement. The two couples head off to the local restaurant where they are made about as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool by the locals who know the secrets of the house, I'll be bound! Meanwhile the son and his girlfriend let themselves into the empty house and pay for pilfering the Scotch by being carved up by the evil house dwellers. This pair are effectively fodder as the monsters tidy up after themselves and these atrocities are left unknown to our heroes who assume they’ve just been stood up. Nice that the monsters were keen to keep their security deposit intact!

The hippy couple start their efforts to clear the house of the unwelcome visitors but they are about as effective as a fart against a tornado. Whilst the man hippy is eating his sock and poking himself in the eye the townsfolk decide to take matters into their own hands - if our heroes escape the evil in the house will descend on the town, so they head over to help the cinder people - huge mistake. Who will survive? And why didn’t they just burn the house down years ago rather than let it kill a bunch of folk every 30 years?

I liked this haunted house horror despite it’s threadbare plot and OTT violence. The 1970’s setting was well realised with the leads sporting no end of stylish turtle necks and double knits. The actors did a decent job as looking shocked a lot and no one was scared of getting their hands dirty, as more claret was spilled than in a winery explosion.

The premise was a bit weak with the burned bodies of a wronged family showing up every 30 years in need of a fresh family to feast on. There was no reason offered for this timescale or what they were after - nourishment? revenge? A straight to DVD horror? Who knows?

The twin baddies of the monsters and the compliant townsfolk were well done, although it was more for laughs at the end when the locals showed up to help and ended up as the main course themselves. The crackling and smoking family of basement dwellers were well done and exuded some real menace.

The ending was pretty satisfying and I liked the end credits sequence that featured a lot of local newspapers recounting the horrors that had occurred over the life of the house.

I don’t think this film was particularly scary but there were plenty of gruesome kills and a nice air of unease throughout. Definitely one to check out.

Best Bit : ‘We’ll help…aaarrrrghh!’
‘W’ rating 19/23

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