OCT17 – 2015

WE ARE STILL HERE, APPARENTLY

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Normally, I try to be positive when it comes to sharing critical thoughts about movies and books, etc. To me, it’s much more fun to suggest something great than to diss something not-so-great. Every once in awhile, though, a movie will come along that garners tons of praise and critical hoopla, but then I make the mistake of seeing the thing myself. In such a case, I feel that it is my duty to call a stinker a stinker, because I’m annoying like that…

WE ARE STILL HERE is a 2015 horror film,written and directed by Ted Geoghegan, that caused quite a stir, both when it first appeared on the festival circuit, and then when it was released officially. Gorehounds and serious horror heads alike gave it stellar reviews, many said it was the ultimate homage to that Italian weirdo Lucio Fulci. Mention of his name should have tipped me off, but more on that in a moment…

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A house of pure evil, mwa-ha-ha-ha

The plot involves a middle-aged couple who recently lost their adult son in an accident, who have just bought a big old farmhouse out in the middle of wintry rural Nowheresville. The wife Anne (played by the great Barbara Crampton) is having a terrible time with the death of her son, so her husband Paul (Andrew Sensenig) figures that moving out to the tundra in the middle of winter will somehow help. Before long, they get an odd visit from their closest neighbors, a creepy pair who end up telling them that the house was the scene of a murder or some damn thing that I literally can’t remember because it is all so dumb. Mysterious figures flit about. An electrician is attacked in the basement by a weird half barbecue briquet / half human entity, and then…

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uncomfortable Ventriloquism

They invite another couple (the always delightful Larry Fessenden, and Lisa Marie) to come out and spend the weekend. Um… Really?

Well, as you can probably guess, things are NOT WHAT THEY SEEM or they are EXACTLY WHAT THEY SEEM depending on how annoyed one gets at this film. Bad stuff happened at the house in the past. The townspeople are maybe in on it. Folks get killed in gross ways. We see a whole family of those barbecue ghosts, blah blah blah.

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you can close your eyes, Larry, but you’re still stuck in this movie

What I can’t stand about WE ARE STILL HERE is that nothing makes any coherent sense whatsoever–no one’s actions, dialog, or emotional state add up to anything believable at all. There is a scene set at the local townie bar after hours that may be one of the single stupidest things I’ve ever seen in a otherwise “serious” horror movie, and pretty much killed any chance of the plot ever recovering.

And here’s the thing that bugs me the most: calling it an homage to Lucio Fulci. Yes, I realize he is revered by many folks, but even those people have got to admit that many of Fulci’s movies are completely nonsensical, slapdash, and ridiculous. Yes, he hits the occasional scene out of the park with his particularly vicious imagination, but I find it funny that so many horror fans revere in him what in other filmmakers would be considered mistakes and sloppiness.

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Quick–I need two enormous graham crackers and a couch-sized Hershey bar!

In WE ARE STILL HERE, they try for “Italian dream logic” (I’ll call it that to be nice), and don’t really care if the various scenes throughout gel into a coherent, or even scary whole. They figure by the end that shit tons of blood and grue flying everywhere will make up for whatever didn’t work plot, character, or making sense-wise. Otherwise good actors are reduced to bland dopes, and none of it has any weight. It all just kind of happens, and it forgets to be scary.

The Good: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, the visual effects, the title.

The Bad: Everything else.

Anyhoo, I REALLY did not like this movie. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what so many people love about it. Are they most scared of being bored? Or confused? That’s the only way I could see it working for me…

My rating: SUCK IT, BARBECUE GHOSTS!

–BPL

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One thought on “OCT17 – 2015

  1. Pingback: OCT25 – 2016 | 31 Hath October

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