In 1979, after the tragic death of their son Bobby in a car accident, Anne and Paul Sacchetti move to a new home in rural New England in the hopes that it will bring them some closure. When moving to a new property do a little bit of research because you might find that the previous tenants (The Dagmars) were reportedly run out of the village after the townspeople discovered that they were swindling their customers by selling the corpses and burying empty caskets, just a thought. Oh and make sure your new accommodation isn’t already inhabited by murderous entities, you definitely don’t want that…
Paul hopes that the big change will be therapeutic for Anne, as the death has hit her particularly hard and caused her to spiral into a deep depression. However, before they can even finish unpacking Anne starts claiming that Bobby is present in the house and a neighbour named Cat warns them to leave the house.
Undeterred, Anne invites her friends May and Jacob Lewis, as they are both spiritualists and could help contact Bobby, as well as explain the strange supernatural occurrences happening in the house. Upon their arrival the two couples go out to eat, during which time the Lewis’ son Harry arrives with his girlfriend Daniella. Neither of them stays for long because the apparitions of the house murder Harry in brutal fashion which leads Daniella to make a frantic break for it. It seems as if she is in the clear until….
The Lewises and the Sacchettis head home, after which Cat’s husband Dave (Monte Markham) arrives at the restaurant, murders a waitress, and then angrily discusses the Dagmar house with the restaurant’s bartender, revealing that the house needs to feed every 30 years or the evil beneath it will search out fresh souls, potentially destroying the town. Up to this point, Dave has been quite a mysterious figure although it was obvious that he was hiding something and this is quite an interesting reveal even if it isn’t entirely clear. I feel the movie would have benefited from a little bit more focus on the Dagmar family and the history of the house, possibly through the use of flashbacks. The plot just isn’t particularly clear or fleshed out which is a shame because it really would have elevated the movie even further.
Jacob eventually manages to convince a reluctant Paul to hold a seance with him while their wives are out. This ends with Jacob becoming possessed by the spirit of Lassander Dagmar, who reveals that they were never run out of town; rather the villagers used him and his family as a sacrifice to the evil under their home.
Lassander, overcome with rage, then causes Jacob to kill himself. His wife May tries to flee, only to be killed by Dave, who has come to the house with the other townspeople and a sawn-off shotgun in hand, determined to give the darkness under the home what it wants. The spirits of the Dagmar family then proceed to violently murder every one of the townspeople in the house until only Dave, Paul, and Anne remain.
Still intending to sacrifice them, Dave tries to kill Anne and Paul, but before he can do so, he is killed by Lassander’s spirit in brutal fashion. Will Paul & Anne survive to see another day? Have the evil spirits been satiated? Was Bobby truly stuck within the house and attempting to contact his mother? Watch the final moments of the movie to find out.
We Are Still Here is definitely a movie of two halves. The first half is quiet, slow paced and extremely subtle. Even though very little happens in terms of horror or scares, it lays the foundations for a quality horror movie with decent character building and a premise that is enticing in all the ways it should be. That’s not saying that absolutely nothing happens, in fact the few things that do help create an effective atmosphere of tension and dread. We’re given few glimpses of creatures bound to the house but what we do see ramps up the fear meter.
The second half of the film is almost entirely different. We see the demons up close and personal which I can’t complain too much about because the makeup used is exceptional, they look awesome.
Subtlety goes flying out the window as we’re treated to what can only be described as a gore fest with plenty of blood and over the top kills, so much so that it nearly teeters over the edge to horror comedy in my opinion.
As I mentioned above, the rules surrounding the whole “One family, every 30 years” thing isn’t completely clear. Technically, the Lewises were all murdered in the house so don’t they count? Shouldn’t their deaths have led to the end of the cycle for another 30 years? Or do you have to be living in the house for it to count. It’s hard to answer the above questions because the movie doesn’t appear to do so but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of decent theories flying around.
The ending may just answer the question about the Lewises and it may be interesting to note that Dave possibly didn’t know that Anne & Paul had lost their son Bobby which makes them an incomplete family and may just mean they don’t qualify. The final scene is left open for interpretation but personally, I do not think the spirit in the house that Anne thought was Bobby was him at all.
We Are Still Here is an interesting movie that will likely please fans of Insidious and Evil Dead alike. It doesn’t do anything new or innovative but what it does do it does well and it deserves credit for that, it’s a solid horror movie
We Are Still Here