Fantasia Fest 2015: We Are Still Here (2015)

Moving on to the next movie was my second double movie night at Fantasia! I’m telling you, this year’s schedule accounts for a lot of my feeling super tired.  These double movies are great and lots of fun but also a ton to think about afterwards.  Thank goodness, this time around, I recorded the Q&A so I don’t need to strain to remember some things here and there.  It doesn’t work to incorporate into my review but it does remind of things that I felt like I agreed with or not. Anyways, enough of this rambling…

The next movie was We Are Still  Here.  Its a directorial debut for Ted Geoghegan (who apparently is also the Director of Publicity for Fantasia Festival) and his sharing of the professed love for an era of horror movies that he feels hasn’t been done in a long time.

We Are Still Here (2015)

Canadian Premiere

We Are Still Here

Director/Writer: Ted Geoghegan

Cast: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham

The year is 1979. Anne (Barbara Crampton) and Paul (Andrew Sensenig) are mourning the loss of their teenage son and attempting to start over in rural New England. Before long, however, noises in the basement, falling photos, and a cryptic visit from a very strange neighbour suggest they’re not alone. Anne invites over hippie spiritualists May (Lisa Marie) and Jacob (Larry Fessenden), and things get even more alarming when it becomes apparent the locals are harbouring a secret about the house — and the horrible fate that befell its former inhabitants. Soon, a failed attempt at spiritual contact opens the doorway to a supernatural slaughter.. The spirits [..] aren’t simply content to slam doors and lurk in shadows. They’re out for blood — and get plenty, literally painting the walls crimson. – Fantasia

We are Still Here

 Coming right out of watching You’re Next, Barbara Crampton’s name was the first to pop out and I’d be lying if her appearance didn’t give me that final push (along with a very well done trailer) to grab these tickets. We Are Still Here is something special.  It really is.  The movie has this nice style to it that really impresses.  It starts off slow in the first act. We get the layout of the house this couple moves in.  We learn about our characters and what they are dealing with.  There’s a good sense that we can suspect something else is lurking in the shadows.  I might be overthinking this but the camera does it so that it feels like we’re watching the characters sometimes interact like someone is spying on them from around the corner or the next room.  Its builds a pretty creepy atmosphere.  The script even lets us learn that the house has a dark history from a long time ago.  There’s not a lot of characters we deal with but each very well portrays what is needed.  Especially since the cast and even crew has been part of some movies that I’ve heard about.  There are a ton of really great jump scares, and I’m not using myself as the judge here but the fiance because he’s a whole lot harder to scare than I am.  They were extremely effective and those spirits are awesome, chills down your back ones.  I’m not going into further detail because that’ll just ruin your fun when you watch it.

We Are Still Here

I should elaborate a little on the cast since its so great in this one.  Barbara Crampton is a fantastic horror actress.  Its kind of funny because there are parts that her lines and expression kind of give us a little moment to laugh even in the most tense situation.  The final act particularly has a few of those moments. Those moments don’t just apply to Barbara Crampton’s Anna but also all the other character’s here.  Another character that does leave a mark is Jacob (played by Larry Fessenden) who does the whole hippie gig super well and then goes to be a total opposite character and grasps that perfectly as well.  I’m being vague deliberately, okay? Another great actor is Monte Markham who plays the Town Leader (in a way) and does it so awkward and great.  The vibe is incredible.

We Are Still Here

I’ve only touched on the first act being slow but what makes We Are Still Here great is the fact that its like a switch turns on in the second part and things go crazy.  Its not that slow burner about building character anymore, it gets all blood and crazy.  And that’s also when I went “huh?” in a good way because it was so genius how the plot twisted.  I don’t say this often but wow.  That’s really all I have to say about it. It kind of blew my mind a little.

Here’s a good spot to end this.  Overall, great characters portrayed by a stellar cast, effective jump scares, building story, mind-blowing plot twist and a switch from slow to fast in a second filled with a creepy atmosphere that turns around and gets bloody and crazy in a second and my fiance might be disappointed if I don’t mention it, but his favorite is that the spirits themselves are done really well that made the scares even more effective.  We Are Still  Here is a great movie and one I definitely feel privileged to have seen at Fantasia Festival.  I haven’t seen what this movie is supposed to be inspired by (since I’m still learning about the huge world of horror) but if you know more, you might even catch how much heart this movie has.  A great effort for a directorial debut and I look forward to what else this team comes up with.

Barbara Crampton, Ted Geoghegan, Travis Stevens (Producer) Karim Hussain (Cinematographer) hosted this movie and was available for the Q&A.  I would post it all up here but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that.  But there is a nice trivia especially regarding one of the scenes. Here’s a picture of them…from my seat far far up in the Concordia Hall Theatre.
Fantasia Festival

Seeing as this is a Canadian premiere and I have no idea where else its been released, have you seen it? Does this intrigue you?  Are you interested in this 70s style horror?

Fantasia Film Festival Line-up! :)

It’s the time of year again! Fantasia Film Festival hits Montreal starting the coming Tuesday (July 14th)!

After waiting for the site to get updated and the schedule to go up on Tuesday, I sat down for 2 hours looking at trailers, reading descriptions, seeing what fit in my schedule.  It sure took longer than I expected.  But then, last year probably took the same amount of time.  With work rush in the way, I have to make some choices that I didn’t really want to.  Some movies I wanted to see only  had time slots where I couldn’t go or it clashed with something I wanted to see more.

One movie, I did end up not choosing (because the chances of me getting tickets were also slim) was advanced screening of Ant-Man.  I’ll still go check it out in theatres if its still around after the festival but its okay.  There are a lot of great choices and some amazing hosts for certain movies.  With that said, I was a little nervous that I couldn’t get tickets for some of the movies.  Here is what the final line-up is!

Just a note: I don’t have particular preferences but I do usually go for less dramas and romance and more horror and thrillers.  I always choose one Hong Kong (China) production and try to dive into Canadian movies also.  Other ones, I try to keep an eye out for is Quebec production and animations that peak my interest but not necessarily included.

July 15

Kung Fu Killer (Quebec Premiere)

The Hallow (Canadian Premiere)

July 17

Cooties (Canadian Premiere)

July 19

We Are Still Here (Canadian Premiere)

Observance (World Premiere)

July 21

Anguish (World Premiere)

July 24

Tales of Halloween (World Premiere)

July 28

Cop Car (Canadian Premiere)

July 29

Bite (World Premiere)

July 30

Antisocial 2 (World Premiere)

Dark Places

That’s the line-up for now! 🙂 11 movies! That’s the same as last year.  I’m pretty happy that I managed to get all of what I wanted even though I hesitated a little during ticket checkout for Tales of Halloween and Antisocial 2. Those are kind of my wild card right there but after looking at the San Diego Comic Con trailer for Tales of Halloween.  It does make me a good bit more optimistic.  I haven’t ever dived into the world of horror anthology movies so this will be a fresh experience.  As for Antisocial 2, my review for Antisocial will go up some time next week, tell me that it doesn’t give you a creeping feeling of Resident Evil BUT I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil, seeing as its my guilty pleasure and all, that I’m willing to give this one a chance.

This year, the fiance is coming with me to see the Sunday two movies back to back night with We Are Still Here and Observance. And one of my good friends are going with me to see Cop Car.  I always love company in these things since everyone else seems to have company.  Not that I mind too much since I’m usually pretty hyped up about these events.

 

Moving along, there were a few movies I couldn’t see because of time constraints but these two were the ones that I felt like I will miss out the most:

Cruel

Cub

While there are movies that I considered and the trailers were rather intriguing but upon a second look at the trailers and discussing with my fiance for weekend showings, we decided to not choose those.  Whatever the reason, I do only have a certain budget so sadly, among a pool of potentially good movies, I had to make choices and hope that it would work out for the better. However, please take a look.  Maybe you can shed some light on some of these that I wasn’t aware of and I’ll add it to my viewing list.

Ludo (India)

Synchronicity (USA)

Momentum (South Africa)

Cherry Tree (Ireland)

Synopsis- via Fantasia Festival

Traders (Ireland) 

Synopsis – via Fantasia Festival

And there you go! My final line-up, potential candidates that didn’t make it (but your opinion and suggestions may change that) and movies that had scheduling conflicts.  As for one of the movies, I actually chose because I wanted to see it and then work my schedule around it.  But then, I really hope I’m sacrificing for the right movie… Either way, I need to be confident in what I’ve chosen. I really do like the looks of it all.  I think I’ll need to round up a ton of comedies to ease the amount of horrors sitting in this list.  If you had to choose one horror to get creeped out of, Anguish gave me chills and the first time, I didn’t even finish the trailer on my own.  My fiance claims I’ll stay up all night.  Lets hope that won’t happen. As for hosts, Tales of Halloween will have a ton including Neil Marshall.  I’d lie if I didn’t choose to see that movie because I wanted to see what he had to say about it. Then there’s Cop Car where Kevin Bacon will host along with the director.  Just a little highlight from what I can remember.

Yay! Festival season! 🙂 Its a huge reason why I feel so lucky to be living in Montreal!

Anyone going to be here for the Fantasia Festival? What are you seeing? Anything catch your eye out of this selection? What peaks your interest from this list?