We Are Still Here ★★

It's clear that director/writer Ted Geoghegan has a great love for the genre: from the inclusion of Barbara Crampton, the kitschy acting, forced dialogue, a small-town's dark secret and a bloodbath ending (which in all honesty I enjoyed a lot for what it was), however, Geoghegan wears the tropes of the genre so loud and proudly on his sleeve in We Are Still Here to the point of where it feels played-out in the first fifteen minutes - ending in a whimper to cap off an underwhelming and blunt film.

Tonally, I was in two minds throughout the majority of it, questioning what Geoghegan was ultimately going for: In the mind-frame of an ironic comedy in the vein of Cabin In The Woods, I could see this being cute enough for what it was (especially with the stock characters and overacting), yet, the inclusion of jump-scares and the oppressive score throughout stopped this theory dead in its tracks, for me. On the flip-side, as an out-and-out horror film, I found it to be lumbering and predictable; plateauing in the middle massively with the characters spinning their wheels, repeating the same questions with no sense of progression - with the situations of horror being as equally overused as its premise.

In fairness, there wasn't too much of it I disliked in particular, it's competent enough and the opening shots of the stark landscape and worn-down house built a decent mood to start, although it also means that there isn't much of it that stands out either, other than wonderfully gruesome FX and a couple of well-executed (if entirely predictable) jump-scares here or there.

It isn't as tonally consistent and visceral as Ti West's House Of The Devil and doesn't have an interesting spin to a dated formula to carry the load to find it other than passable - if it was going for something similar it fell flat, for me. I can see the appeal up to a point, but I got nothing out of it.

See a compilation of the gore FX, and you've seen the best it has to offer, in my opinion.