Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'We Are Still Here' (2015)
Should Be 'Why Are We Still Here?'
This movie was trying my fucking patience. It was so melodramatic and brooding for the first 20 minutes. It was almost a French art film. Fuck, I think there were four lines total in the first 20 minutes. You can barely pick out a fuck thing about what's going on. Most of it's inferred. I appreciate that they treat you like an adult and expect you to figure it out rather than prattling on in some exposition, but Jesus fucking Christ, throw me a bone here. This movie came DAMN close to almost failing the 30 Minute Rule. I mean it was 27 minutes or some shit before demons started crawling out of the walls. Too fucking close...
Acting was fucking awful. This wasn't exactly low budget either, so apparently they blew all their money on f/x and couldn't be bothered to hire a decent actor with what money they had left. I mean it was BAD. Not porn bad, but worse than typical horror. It was about the same level as They. Fuck, the acting in They was almost unbearable. No wonder there was almost no dialog in the beginning, they likely didn't want the audience leaving while there was still time to comp movie tickets.
So here's the thing, I actually kinda enjoyed this movie all the same. It's a neat little story with an interesting mythos and all the right makings of good horror. It was interesting enough to keep my attention and never idiotic enough for me to skip ahead. So, even though the acting was as bad as They, the rest was better. The writing carried the movie like it was a dead body it'd been handcuffed to, but it DID carry the fucking movie. You also have to give the writer credit for giving the director enough to work with among what must have been some of the worst casting ever.
I guess I can recommend this movie as riff material? That being said, as amazing as the writing was, there are some gaping fucking plot holes...
Okay, so it might take you a little bit to figure out that the couple in the beginning have just lost their son. Now, it doesn't really matter how, just know that the mom is having a little trouble letting go. Dad almost doesn't seem to give a shit, but really that's just poor acting. The important part is the demons in the house prey on this to convince the mom to reach out to them. Of course, she thinks she's reaching out to her son. Now, this makes perfect sense for a movie about demons. A lot of them go with the common theme that the demon starts out pretending to be a dead loved one. Here's the problem though. You eventually find out that their dead son is there among them. He didn't die there. He didn't die in any fucking way related to the house, but for some fucking reason, he's there. So, basically, what the writer is saying, because mom couldn't let go, she accidentally dragged her son's spirit right into a fucking gateway to hell. Fuck man, that is some pretty dark shit right there. How the fuck is that supposed to work? I mean, it's hardly fucking fair, is it?
Anyway, it gets better from there. So this couple invites their hippy dippy spiritual friends up to try and bridge contact with the son, and the first god damn thing their medium friend tells them is, "Not your son, place is evil, get the fuck out." So what do they do? Not leave of course. Instead, they decide to get a bite to eat. This was really just a plot device to introduce the whole gang to the psycho townsfolk, and to get the house empty so it could eat the hippy couple's kids, but it just furthered the case that maybe they should be getting the fuck out of there. So they STILL decide to stick around, and what fucking happens? While the women are out grocery shopping, the hippy husband takes the other guy and decides to help him reach out to his son... in the evil house, with the creepy townsfolk, after his spiritual medium wife just fucking told them whatever's trying to contact them is not their fucking son...
Now, they try and hang a lantern on this whole mess. The actor playing the hippy guy clearly doesn't really hold much faith that this hippy wife is a spiritual medium. So far as his knowledge of the arts, he clearly has no idea what he's doing or talking about. They basically set the whole thing up to seem like he was just trying to help a grieving father with some nonsense hocus pocus. But there's just too many problems with this. One, the grieving father clearly doesn't believe in any of this shit either so there would be no motivation for this. Two, the hippy guy's wife just fucking told him not to fucking do exactly what he's doing. It doesn't help the whole thing is just so poorly fucking acted that it's already difficult to stand behind, but then you add on the fact that the whole premise is bad and it just shits the bed from there.
Finally, you find out the townsfolk are in on all this and it's some sort of weird cult ritual. That's all well and good so they decide to take matters into their own hands and make sure the main characters don't run off (not that they didn't have plenty of opportunities before now). But rather than just posting a blockade, and waiting for the demons in the house to do all the work, these dumb fuckers decide to siege the house... why? They know what's in there. They know what it'll do to them now that it's awake. I mean, make sure their victims don't escape, that makes sense. Go in after them? Why? Where's the motivation to get their hands dirty and risk getting eaten by the house? So, of course they all get eaten by the fucking house. Big fucking surprise there! I mean, I appreciate the splatter fest that the director setup, but it just doesn't make any fucking sense.
You know what? This could have really been a great fucking movie. That's why I liked it. It's got all the right pieces for a great fucking movie, it just needed a little polishing. I definitely can't recommend this even for serious horror heads, but it might be fun to riff. There are some pretty riffable moments and the acting is so fucking bad.