I’m here for We Are Still Here

Horror movie lovers can determine if a movie is going to be a classic before the movie is even over. The Exorcist. Nightmare on Elm Street. The Changeling. Robert Ebert and his questionable taste didn’t decide that. We did. From mainstream movies to indie flicks, our people know where it’s at.

So allow me to introduce you to a little gem called We Are Still Here. It’s amazing. The acting is terrible. The writing isn’t that great. The plot is nonsensical. Somehow, it just works. 

Here’s the rundown.

Paul and Anne (who makes a better Barb, probably because that’s her real name, so that’s what I’m going to call her) are a super simple, not-much-to-talk-about couple who have recently moved from their hometown in an attempt to start over following the death of their son. Barb is very emotional and upon moving into this centuries-old house, tells Paul that she can feel the presence of their son and that she believes he’s followed them to that house. 

Paul is like “Barb, no he didn’t, he’s dead” and his responses continue in this cadence for the duration of the movie.

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It’s the best.

So after a bunch of not-very-weird things happening, Barb contacts her hippie psychic friend, Mae, and asks her to come for a visit but also so she can conjure up her late son. Mae is like “sure” but Paul is like “god damnit”. 

Mae and her husband, Jacob, arrive and they all go to dinner where naturally the entire town is also having dinner. The 4 of them walk in and the entire town stares at them cause they’re the new owners of “that” house. They notice but ignore it like good unsuspecting victims. Meanwhile, Barb’s friend Mae’s son is on his way to the house with his girlfriend, and now the shit is really about to go down.

Mae’s son gets offed and his girlfriend drives away frantically for help and then SHE gets offed. The foursome get back home and are like “hmmm, I guess the kids aren’t here yet.” Parents didn’t smother their kids back then so they’re just like “oh well”. 

So the next day Mae tells Barb “let’s do a seance to contact your son” and Paul is like “pfft”. But then Mae is like “actually, sike, there’s something evil in here so no seance”.

Instead of conjuring the dead, the women go to the grocery store. After they leave Mae’s husband Jacob is like “seance time!” and Paul is like “pfft”. Jacob is like “Paul, you need to believe it or it won’t work” to which Paul’s attitude rolls its eyes. They’re doing the seance and then Jacob starts acting weird and Paul is like “this is lame”. 

As it turns out, it’s not lame, Jacob has managed to get himself possessed. The wives get home and Paul is like “so yeah, Jacob played with ghosts and now he’s crazy”.

MV5BMTk0NjU1OTAxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDA0Mjg4NTE@._V1_                                                           Photo by: imdb.com

Then Mae is like “it’s Dagmar (the thing that’s haunting the house)!” and Paul is like “oh FFS”. Then Jacob stabs his own eye out and Paul is like “ok, time to bounce”. 

Before they can leave the town’s people show up because the ghosts of the house are feeding and they need to make sure the victims are the owners of the house and not the rest of the town. The leader of the group knocks on the door and like a dumb-dumb, Mae answers it resulting in her timely death. Barb is like “he killed her!” and Paul is like “I was here when it happened”. 

So Paul and Barb run from the townspeople and then (plot twist!) the ghost family (not just Dagmar) that has apparently been wreaking havoc on the town is like “you know what, fuck this town, but Paul is cool” and kills everyone except Paul and Barb. After everyone is dead Paul is like “sup” and the ghost dad is like “sup” and then the ghost family is like “k, bye” and it’s over. 

Paul is the reason this movie is watchable. I don’t know if he’s a terrible actor or if his role was meant to convey an attitude of “over it” but it just makes me laugh. Terror takes over this family and he can’t be bothered by any of it. Which, by the way, is the person you want by your side in a crisis – clearly. Paul’s not here for your shit, my shit, or anybody’s shit. And you know what, I’m here for that.

We Are Still Here is streaming on Shudder.

It’s one of my favorite holidays: Friday the 13th

The only thing more awesome than Friday the 13th is October Friday the 13th. We don’t get one of those this year. But we at least get this one which, other than every other day, makes it a great day to watch some horror. 

Work has been busy lately so it’s been the perfect time to get caught up on everything streaming in Shudder. I freaking love that channel. Not only do they celebrate Halloween all year long but they stream some of my favorite horror movies as well as have introduced me to movies that aren’t mainstream but also aren’t half bad. 

Southbound (2015. Streaming on Shudder)

This movie actually surprised me. It starts out with 2 men running for their lives (obviously) and continues with a series of scenarios, each completely different from the other, but all connected to put together a gory tale of horrific events. My love for horror movies made up of multiple stories began as a kid when I watched Tales From the Darkside: The Movie. The way all of the stories in Southbound tie together makes it a little more entertaining. It makes for a pretty good midnight Friday the 13th movie.

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Photo by: newyorktimes.com

Open 24 Hours (2018. Streaming on Shudder)

Open 24 Hours is very Fear (1996) meets I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). Mary (Vanessa Grasse) has just taken a job at a 24-hour convenience store, the only place she can work thanks to an incident where she set her serial killer boyfriend (like who hasn’t wanted to do that?). In addition to the convenience store being the only place that will employ her, she also suffers from paranoia. I know, bummer. Throughout her shift, she’s constantly fighting visions of her burned up, Freddy Krueger-esque boyfriend coming back to murder her (a real asshole). As it turns out, her ghost of boyfriend’s past is just one of many things she needs to worry about. This movie didn’t get the best reviews but it’s on Shudder’s most popular movies and that’s because, I believe, it’s not bad. I recommend it.

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Photo by: themoviewaffler.com

The Mortuary Collection (2019. Streaming on Shudder)

So we’ve already established that I love anthology horror movies. A woman named Sam (Caitlin Custer) finds herself in a mortuary that’s in search of workers. Sam meets the mortician, Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown who you’ll recognize if you’re a Dexter fan), and after he agrees to interview her, takes her on a tour of the mortuary while telling her stories about the people he’s performed funerals for, and how they died. What I love is that the stories are very Creepshow/Tales From the Crypt – my kind of stories. If you’re looking for a fun movie that still mixes in some horror, this is it. Again, not the best reviews but I dug it.

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Photo by: filmthreat.com

Housebound (2014. Streaming on Shudder)

I’ve saved the best for last. I watched Housebound on a whim – I’d been scrolling through Shudder movies and my wrist was getting tired. Let me tell you, I’ve never been more proud of my weak princess wrists. Housebound is freaking brilliant. A horror/comedy hybrid, Housebound is the story of a rebellious and troubled woman, Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly), who has to move home with her mother following her latest crime gone wrong. Upon moving in, weird things begin to happen making her believe the house is haunted. This concerns her psychologist as he believes them to be delusions, however, following a home visit from the doctor, Kylie believes there may be more to the happenings and hauntings in the home. Along with her security contractor, Kylie goes on a mission to uncover the truth. What you think is happening isn’t, and the entire movie is peppered with the dry British humor we all know and love, or at least I do. If you like Shawn of The Dead, you’ll definitely like Housebound. I suggest saving this movie for your main Friday the 13th feature.

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Photo by: variety.com

I hope everyone has a happy, horror-filled Friday the 13th!

Vivarium and The Room: weird houses and jerk kids.

I’ve known I wasn’t meant to have kids since I was 13 and a friend of mine gave me her Tamagotchi – one of those electronic aliens on a keychain. I’d never expressed interest in it nor did I even know what its appeal was, but I accepted it thinking she was just being nice. Immediately I realized why she gave it to me. She hated me.

I couldn’t get it to shut up and I didn’t know how to turn it off. The first night I had it my mom stormed into my bedroom in a full-on rage, pissed because the bloody thing kept beeping and I couldn’t hear it even though it was right next to my head. After a couple of days it finally died – not the batteries, the actual digital alien or baby or whatever the hell it was.

These days I’m particular about what items I accept, and that includes children. Don’t even ask me if I want to hold your baby. Thanks to that Tamagotchi, the answer is I do not. I’m not falling for that one. Not like the dumb-dumbs in Vivarium did.

Vivarium (streaming on Amazon Prime) starts off with a couple in search of a home, finding themselves in a neighborhood that looks like it’s straight out of the Monopoly game. Even though every single house is identical, they keep their appointment with their weird AF realtor, doing a walk-through of what might be their new home. They’re like “mmm, I don’t know” and then try to drive out of the creepy neighborhood but as you may have guessed, they cannot.

So, they end up staying in their creepy dollhouse and while they may not be able to find their way out, Amazon can as they receive daily packages – one of them being a FUCKING. BABY. Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) is like “um no” and Gemma (Imogen Poots) is like “we have to it’s ours”. And thus begins an hour and a half of screaming, tantrums, fighting, and trying to escape but ultimately realizing there’s only one way out.

If you’re on the fence about having kids or would like to know what my 48 hours with a Tamagotchi was like, watch Vivarium. Warning: it’s weird as fuck.

2019 must’ve been the year for movies about weird houses and jerk kids because at the same time Vivarium came out, so did The Room (streaming on Shudder), except in The Room, the featured couple conjures up a devil child as opposed to just being left with one. I’ll explain.

Kate (Olga Kurylenko) and Matt (Kevin Janssens) have just moved into a home that’s special because a murder was committed in it. As a consolation prize, the room where the murder was committed grants wishes – a peace offering if you will. They both quit their jobs and decide to live off The Room, wishing for all sorts of bullshit. However, the one thing they both really want is a child so naturally, they wish one into existence.

How could this go wrong?

Well, for starters, they didn’t read the instruction manual on the room because if they had, they would have known that all of their wishes cannot be taken outside of the home or they’ll turn to dust. So it’s like the people on Instagram who pay to take staged photos in private jets but they don’t actually fly in private jets – like that.

The rules apply to the child as well, a fact they discover after Kate takes the kid outside and he turns into an 8-year-old or some age like that. Then he really turns into an asshole. He’s pissed because Kate won’t let him go outside and Matt doesn’t like him so he lashes out. But things really take a turn when he turns himself into an adult, and then we have a whole Oedipus situation going on.

It’s either the parents or this manifested little jerk – who will win? You have to watch The Room(streaming on Shudder) to find out. Or, if you don’t want to invest your time in it (and I kind of wouldn’t blame you), let me know and I’ll just tell you.

**My series and movie reviews will now be moving over to jennavision.blog. Enjoy!