I love a good anonymous horror flick. How anonymous is We Are Still Here, the movie from writer/director Ted Geoghegan? The plot summary on Wikipedia currently sits at 152 words as I write this. That’s it. In this day and age, a film really has to fly under the radar to get such a sparse entry on a site whose editors can be quite verbose.
We Are Still Here takes place in snow-covered New England in the year 1979. Husband and wife Paul and Anne Sacchetti (Andrew Sensenig and Barbara Crampton) have relocated from the city following the death of their college-aged son in a car accident. They have chosen to move into a century-old house on the outskirts of Aylesbury, one of those insular New England towns that populate fiction. It’s full of people who have known each other since birth, and is very mistrusting of outsiders.
Like all small towns in a horror film, this one has a dark secret. Long ago, the house the Sacchettis purchased was home to the Dagmar family, who were accused by the townsfolk of selling human bodies to medical schools and Chinese restaurants in Boston. After facing some small town retribution, a curse was placed on the house and any poor souls who occupy it. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: We Are Still Here”
A couple years back, I wanted to read Pet Sematary. These days, I prefer epubs to printed books. But believe it or not, the only epub edition I could find of that book, without torrenting a bootleg copy riddled with scanning errors, was in German. So, I had to go to a bookstore, something I hadn’t done in a long time. I found a mass-market paperback copy on the horror shelf of a Barnes & Noble near the World Trade Center. I could have been in and out of the store like a flash, but failure to browse in a bookstore is an intellectual misdemeanor, so I took a look around. When I think of a bookstore, the genres on the shelves tend to hold steady. Fiction and literature, horror, mystery, nonfiction, supernatural teen romance...huh?
That shelf caught me by surprise. I knew Twilight was a big thing, but until I walked into that bookstore, I had no idea that supernatural teen romance was a standalone genre, much less that it could command thirty feet of shelf space. That’s pretty damned impressive, but also makes soon-to-be middle-aged male me gag just a little bit. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Stake Land”
Right now, here in New York City, the sky is overcast and the air is a crisp 60 degrees (that’s 16 degrees for you Loyal Seven from points far and wide). It’s a typical fall day, and that sucks. On days like this, I worry the sun won’t make another appearance until it’s too cold out for clouds to form. But, I shouldn’t worry, because it’s October, and that means it’s time for the Sixth Annual October Horrorshow here on Missile Test, where I watch and review horror films for an entire month. The good, the bad, the putrid...it doesn’t matter, so long as there’s blood. Today’s film has buckets of the stuff. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: You’re Next”
I never thought I would see anything personally familiar in a film that takes place in 1850s Ireland. I have never been to Ireland. I have never been to the 1850s. But I have been to Staten Island. If that makes no sense to you, dear reader, don’t worry. It will. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: I Sell the Dead”
The House of the Devil is a neat little lo-fi film from writer/director Ti West. An homage to low-budget horror from the 1970s and 80s, The House of the Devil is a faithful recreation of styles and techniques from that era. The film takes place in the early 80s, and West does a great job taking the viewer back. But the film is not about the 80s. That’s a distinction worth pointing out. It means the film doesn’t crash the viewer with reminders of the time around every corner, nor does it rely on nostalgia. It just is. The very low budget meant that West didn’t have absolute control over the dressing of locations, inadvertently creating a fun game of spot the anachronism. It doesn’t necessarily distract from the film, but I did find myself hunting for objects that had no business being in the 1980s.
The film follows college sophomore Samantha (Jocelin Donahue). She lives in a dorm, but can’t stand her roommate. In order to get some money to rent an apartment, she answers a flier for a babysitter posted on campus. Her friend Megan (Greta Gerwig) gives her a ride out to the place, down a lonely country road, and we finally make it to the house of the title. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The House of the Devil”