Bloody, but by the end, funny

Los Angeles Times - - MOVIES - time: 1 hour, 23 min­utes. Play­ing: Laemmle’s Mu­sic Hall 3, Bev­erly Hills. — Robert Abele “We Are Still Here.” No MPAA rat­ing. Run­ning

There’s ob­vi­ous af­fec­tion for the hearty shiv­ers-to­car­nage tra­jec­tory of hor­ror films past in writer-direc­tor Ted Geoghe­gan’s “We Are Still Here,” a win­try haunt­ing Geoghe­gan even sets in the 1970s.

Mourn­ing their son’s un­timely death, be­reaved par­ents Anne (“Re-An­i­ma­tor” star and cult film vet­eran Bar­bara Cramp­ton) and Paul (An­drew Sensenig) de­camp to an old, snow-blan­keted house in a New Eng­land vil­lage, the kind where na­tives stare at new­com­ers, and “friendly” neigh­bors mer­rily in­form you of your home’s grim his­tory.

For a good hour, Geoghe­gan tries but stum­bles in find­ing foot­ing with the lov­ing clichés — noises, shad­ows, vis­i­tors (in­clud­ing Larry Fessenden and Lisa Marie) who are surely doomed — and the tonguein-cheek vibe. The vi­su­als rarely gen­er­ate any last­ing ten­sion to boot. (Half the movie feels like es­tab­lish­ing shots of the gloomy out­side of the house, while in­side, Geoghe­gan’s rest­less cam­era never seems to know where it should be.)

Things pick up for the bloody third act, though, when the till-now-hid­den preda­tors — charred, em­ber-emit­ting fig­ures — go on the of­fen­sive, and a skill­ful gore ef­fects team steps in to do what­ever the op­po­site is of a cleanup job. Once “We Are Still Here” un­sticks it­self from hom­mage mode, it finds some­thing cathar­ti­cally funny in­side the fear­some.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.