Movie Review: “We Are What We Are”

   We Are What We Are is a 2013 American horror film directed by Jim Mickle. The film is a remake of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name and received a positive response from critics.

   In-fact, a sequel and a prequel have already been announced.

   Nobody could blame you if you hadn’t heard of the film. Films with this level of subject-matter don’t usually find themselves on the screen of too many theaters.

   The film stars Bill Sage, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers, Kelly McGillis, Odeya Rush, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell, Nick Damici, and Jack Gore.

   There aren’t a lot of known names in the cast; at least there isn’t any that I am too familiar with. I suppose that Odeya Rush is likely the most known actor or actress in the bunch. If she isn’t the most known than she certainly will be in the preceding years. The actress will have a starring role in The Giver, as well as a role in the upcoming Goosebumps film. Lastly, I read something about her playing Mary in a Passion of the Christ prequel, but the idea terrified me so I am willing to look past that if you are.

   I wanted to see this film for a number of reasons. Most notably, I wanted to see it for the critical reception that it received. Horror films aren’t difficult to find, I can find entertainment in a lot of them, but the really good horror movies are scarce. This film received a positive reception, as well as the fact it’s already penciled in to receive its own franchise.

   The story in We Are What We Are is about a family that suffers the loss of their mother; however, it is soon revealed that something dark lines the walls of the Parker family.

   They are cannibals.

   Driven mostly by their overly religious father, the two daughters and son partake with a warped sense of confusion. There’s a fear and alienated way the characters carry themselves with an inflicted exile in their behavior. The film focuses on how the family coexists without their mother helping to hold everything together, as well as with the oldest daughter trying to think for herself.

   The acting in this film is inspired. Bill Sage’s performance as Frank Parker has a presence that can’t be denied. We have seen the insane religious-type about a million-and-one times in horror. In-fact, it strives as being one of the largest clichés in the whole genre.

   If you are willing to overlook that, it’s a menacing performance. Other-wise, the youngest cast is also allotted the means to excel. They feel unorthodox and uncomfortable with everything around them. As if they have been isolated and don’t really understand what normal behavior is meant to be, and this is especially true for the son.

   The film lacks very little in surprises, and it is basically easy to follow where everything is going and will head far in hindsight. It is a slow-burn film. I feel like slow-burn is starting to overwhelm the horror-genre, but this one has an interest enough script to keep me interested. It is an hour and forty-five minute film that feels like it could have easily been well over the two-hour mark. I don’t mean this to imply I was bored, but to say that the pace can feel tedious and very slow. I felt like it was building to something, and I knew what that something was from the very beginning and didn’t really care.

   In conclusion, We Are What We Are is an okay film. The premise might imply more than what it actually has the means to achieve, but it isn’t terrible. The camera-work and slow-pace can be a little unrelenting at times, but at others, it can seem more methodical than nerve-racking. And like I said, the performances aren’t bad, but at the same time, it doesn’t really build to a worthwhile payoff.

   It’s an okay film, and you could certainly do worse.

   Thanks for reading…

Rating: – Decent

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