There's obvious affection for the hearty shivers-to-carnage 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
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.
"We Are Still Here"
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.