Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 October Horror Challenge #23 "We Are Still Here"

This is one of those movies that people have been raving about since it came out. Gotten almost all positive reviews from horror fans, and it's one of the movies I was most excited to watch this October.  It's not often that horror movies get praised even by critics who don't usually like horror, so I was hoping to see something really special.

I threatened everyone with death if they spoiled this movie for me, and I avoided posts about this movie like the plague because people like to ruin movies for others and I didn't want that to happen to me, so I didn't know almost anything coming into this movie.  It's about an older married couple who move to a new home after the death of their son, hoping for a new start. The sense of sadness is palpable in the movie, and I really felt for the characters and their loss.

Haunted house movies tend to get to me, especially when the family has reason to be haunted even before anything ghostly happens, and this couple is haunted by the death of their son, which is sad and lends a melancholy air to everything that happens. Of course, having just lost someone, they  first attribute the ghostly happenings to someone they love, which creeps me out worrying that the ghosts they're encountering are less friendly and more evil.

Pretty evil, I'd say.  I'm not going to spoil anything, but one scene actually made me spit pizza out my nose, and that shit HURTS. Damn horror movies, giving me permanent psychological damage and massive nasal scarring.

The movie isn't perfect of course. Few things are. There's a long, drawn out infodump about halfway through the movie that comes across as pretty silly.  There had to have been a better way to do that. Once it becomes clear what's going on (thanks to infodump Mcgee over there) things move along pretty quickly, though, and the whole mess is creepy enough to make me forgive any shortcomings the movie might have.

I have to praise the atmosphere again, because it really gives everything a sense of cold, spooky isolation that helps everything feel even scarier. Probably a good thing, since the characters decide to make some boneheaded moves as the end draws near.  I understand that if the characters were smart the movie would be like, five minutes long, but COME ON. At least the movie gets REALLY creepy at this point, so I didn't have time to dwell on it (I was too busy having a heart attack). In the end, though it has some missteps that had me yelling snide comments at the screen, there was enough creepy atmosphere, good gore, solid acting, and scares to make it worth my time.

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