We Are What We Are is a 2013 American horror film directed by Jim Mickle (Mulberry Street, Stake Land) from a screenplay co-written with Nick Damici. It is a remake of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name.
Bill Sage, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers, Kelly McGillis, Odeya Rush, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell and Nick Damici.
A seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers have always kept to themselves, and for good reason.
Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank rules his family with a rigorous fervour, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact at any cost. As a torrential rainstorm moves into the area, tragedy strikes and his daughters Iris and Rose are forced to assume responsibilities that extend beyond those of a typical family.
As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, the local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have held closely for so many years. While the town’s doctor who’s daughter was eaten by Frank watches, the daughters both decide to consume their overbearing father, by eating his flesh, while he’s still alive…
While there is an inevitable backlash against any US remake of a ‘foreign language’ film, We Are What We Are shows the validity of such remakes. This is less a carbon copy than a new interpretation of the basic story, given a Southern Gothic make-over and arguably resulting in a superior film. It could be argued – and we accept that this is a contentious opinion – that remakes like this manage to improve on the story by giving a fresh look at the story. Not that all such remakes do this successfully, but when they do – as in this case – the resulting film is a potent, powerful variation that both compliments and expands upon the original story.
‘What’s particularly impressive about We Are What We Are is what it changes (which is a lot) and what it chooses to keep; the central core of both films is very similar and yet fascinating for different reasons. The film also boasts strong essentials in the cinematography and score departments, while Mr. Mickle acts as his own editor, and the result is two disparate subplots that slowly converge in clever and intense fashion. This is a sober and serious horror tale, but it does remember to include some jolts, scares, and seriously bloody bits, too.’ Scott Weinberg, FEARnet
‘The best element of the picture is how Mickle slowly, painstakingly builds both suspense and grotesque horror. Mickle is a natural born filmmaker and there is seldom a frame or beat that’s out of step. In fact there’s something very peculiar at work here in just how rich his approach is since there’s a genuine attempt to humanize its characters in a way where we often empathize with their situation even when they’re engaging in utterly horrendous actions.’ Glen Klymkiw, Film Corner
‘The movie saves most of its modest number of jolts for its last quarter or so, which makes them all the more intense. They stick in your craw – and be warned, they’re not for the squeamish… Mickle’s version has all the American Gothic trappings, maybe even pouring it on a bit thick at times. Despite the generally somber tone, there are a few moments when he seems to be tweaking genre buffs’ memories of movies by the likes of Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper.’ Walter Addiego, San Francisco Gate
‘Mickle takes a slightly different tack altogether, using the Grau screenplay as a jumping point to set more of a mood piece, using the gore to accent the feeling of anachronism he sets up with the central family. The violence of Mickle’s We Are What We Are, builds slowly toward a shocking and gruesome finale worthy of any horror fan’s attention.’ Brandon A. DuHamel, Blu-rayDefinition.com
W.H. / D.F.