We Are What We Are
From the genre-defining culture of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to real-shock moments in history, such as survivalist pioneers The Donner Party and psycho Ed Gein, the subject of cannibalism does indeed run deep through America’s veins. No wonder, then, that We Are What We Are has been remade from the original Mexican release into an American movie.
Director Jim Micke exchanges the original urban setting for the sticks. In a quiet backwater town we are taken into the private world of the Parkers – a family who, like many others, prefer to trust each other than the outside world. Bill Sage plays the father, a man whose sole intent is keeping alive a tradition that has lasted generations, amid the unexpected passing of his wife and tense consequences a continual flood keeps unearthing.
Thankfully this isn’t an unoriginal rip-off and it isn’t another hokey cabin-in-the-woods genre film either. Instead it’s an eerie and tense American gothic tale of a family’s struggle to coexist under a crippling secret. In an age of the 12A Robocop, this film’s serious intent comes across with its anti-cash in 18 certificate. Plus there’s the fact that the screenplay and characters have been completely re-imagined from top to bottom and not merely transposed for an American audience.
The true terror of the film is delivered with a refreshingly slower pace combined with a believable story, with strong hints of morality. The acting is unwavering throughout, notably with multi-dimensional performances from the daughters: Julia Garner and Ambyr Childers. Not forgetting the stylised look of the piece compared to the more documentary style of the original; the score is striking and dramatic and perhaps the greatest strength of the picture. It is an intelligent and mature film that just about straddles arthouse and horror.
However, with a prequel and sequel going ahead, it still remains to be seen if there will be much appetite left or whether We Are What We Are was main course enough.
We Are What We Are is released nationwide on Friday 28th February 2014.
Watch the trailer for We Are What We Are here: