We Are Still Here full movie review - Another okay horror that could have been great with fine tuning
Too often I think script writers for horror films come up with a great idea or two, maybe a concept and a good premise. What they do not come up with during the late nights when they begin writing a horror film is a good ending.
I say, come up with something dark and disturbing or an image of some sort of escape and build the movie up to that point rather than writing oneself into a corner and ending a film abruptly leaving the audience to 'come up with something in their mind'. I am sorry, but that is neither clever nor a way to make the viewer use their imagination, it is just a cop out because you cannot think of a good way to end your horror film because all the while you are writing an ending never comes to mind. There is another problem in horror films, a battle between being too ambiguous with the ending or too telling. A film that ends making people have absolutely no idea what just happened is not the way to go and goes with the lazy ending or too telling where you explain everything to death and it has completely lost its luster. This film did the former by the way, but what I am saying is that you need to have a bit of ambiguity, but at the same time be a bit telling so one is not completely lost. Once again, the film was okay, but it is frustrating to see so many horror films actually have potential to be great, but they just miss some points and become okay to downright awful.
The story has a couple who has recently lost a son moving into a new house to try and escape the pain. Something though seems to be happening in the new home as there is a creak here and footsteps heard there. An elderly couple comes to visit the family and seem almost surprised when the couple informs the two that they have been living at the house for two weeks. The mother invites some friends over as she keeps feeling the presence of her deceased son in the house; meanwhile an electrician is attacked by something in the basement. It seems an evil lurks in the house and the couple my find themselves its latest target!
Along with the too abrupt ending there are just too many plot holes going on in this one. The ghosts who are doing the killing are not the true evil apparently, but rather something was uncovered when the house was first built and it demands blood or the town will suffer. So why was nothing really shown that illustrated this during the film? You cannot mention an evil and never really show it making its mark as it is just the one deceased family doing the killing. I realize the film had a small budget, but why not a scene where a local turns on a tap and black water flows out and other small signs like this? There is an old man who does not wish to kill the current family himself, but would rather the vengeful spirits do the dirty deed to presumably not get his hands dirty, but he has no trouble killing his wife. Granted she was trying to warn the family to get out of the house, but that poor waitress did nothing wrong, her death made no sense and only made the fact the old man and townsfolk were going to try and kill the couple more apparent...an instance where the film should have been more ambiguous. An electrician gets attacked yet they blame the boiler for his burns. I am pretty sure he was fully aware it was not the boiler that came screaming at him! The vengeful spirits seem tied to the house for almost all the movie with the exception of one scene where a girl gets killed in her car. Why this exception? Just things like this that make one frustrated. All one had to do was look over the script and ask of certain things, "Does that make sense?"
Despite all my complaints I still enjoyed it overall. It had some nice scenes and the ending was kind of a nice bloody and gore filled finale that was kind of cool. A lot of people comment that the acting was wooden, but I thought it was okay. The main thing I think needed work was the script. Just off the top of my head, how I would have ended the film. I would have had the husband go to the cellar and go down. Once downstairs he sees that the one hole has gotten bigger and there is something beyond it, a strange staircase leading further down. He sees his wife go down and he runs to the edge, but hesitates until he hears his deceased son's voice so he proceeds down. What he sees makes him smile, and he says hi to his son. Unfortunately, his smile turns into a grimace and and then a shriek and we see a hellish light upon him that begins to burn him so that he begins to take on the same form as the spirits that had been haunting the place. I think this would have fit better with the whole, there is an ancient Lovecraftian demon or devil lurking beneath the house. I doubt something like that is going to just reunite the family together to live happily. So it is worth a look and I am glad I watched it, but could have been better...but, as I've said many times before, that is a lot of horror films.