FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 22, 2015

Day 22: WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (2013)


I kind of want to wait another week to write a review of We Are What We Are, because I feel like I'll need at least that long to come down, to process it. I knew nothing about this movie going in (it's a remake of a 2010 Mexican film, what the heck!), and when the Netflix description mentioned a family of cannibals keeping up traditions and all that, well, I certainly wasn't expecting...this. I didn't anticipate the movie would be drenched in sorrow from beginning to end. I figured I was in for exploitation and gore, you know, and to find my guts twisted up from tension and melancholy was a pleasant–no, make that a heartwrenching, bittersweet, terrible in the best way–surprise.

The Parker family has always kept to its ancestral ways, but as more...responsibilities...fall to teenage daughters Iris and Rose, they begin to have doubts. Why can't they be like everyone else instead of what they are? Does the Maker truly forgive, and will the unceasing rains and rising waters wash away their sins?

While it's one of the more depressing horror movies I've seen, I can't say enough good things about We Are What We Are. As I said, it's still working its way around my brain and I'm basically just a meat sack full of feelings right now. Everything floored me, everything. The gloomy-ass atmosphere, the subdued script and pitch perfect acting that brings these rich characters to life–oh, the acting, I want to marry the acting. Actually, I might have to cancel the rest of SHOCKtober not only because come on, it's all downhill from here, but because I want to marry the whole movie and spend the remainder of the month honeymooning with it. THIS MOVIE, YOU GUYS.

15 comments:

G.A. Redman said...

Director Jim Mickle is putting together quite a resume of well made low budget films. We Are What We Are feels like a film where he's transitioning from horror movies to darkly poetic mood pieces. His last film, Cold in July, is a masterful neo-noir.

Stacie Ponder said...

I'm gonna have to check that out. I wasn't terribly into Stake Land, but in the years since I saw it, I've read enough praise that I think I should give it a second chance for sure–especially considering how much I loved We Are...

Bob Ignizio said...

This is one of those rare remakes that's better than the original. Mickle takes the basic premise and some plot points from the original, but he really makes this one his own. And I second G.A. Redman about 'Cold in July', which was based on my favorite Joe R. Lansdale novel. I wasn't that taken with 'Stakeland', either, but everything else Mickle has done (including is debut feature 'Mulberry Street') I have enjoyed quite a bit.

CashBailey said...

Yes, COLD IN JULY was superb.

Any time someone can adapt Joe Lansdale (without question one of the great American writers) into a movie I am happy.

I'm still waiting for the 'Hap and Leonard' film or TV series. If they retain the brutality and hysterical gallows humour it will be awesome.

smogo said...

Interesting... because the original is bloody awful.

Stacie Ponder said...

I've read many comments (it's even said here) that it's much better than the original and quite different, more of a reimagining, really. But who knows? I loved this one, that's for sure.

Sean Belcher said...

I've had this one on my List for for months and just haven't been able to bring myself to pull the trigger. Sounds like I'll have to give it go soon. Thanks - "SHOCKtober: it's about helping."

Miskatonic said...

I just want to say that the original is definitely worthy of attention.

Stacie Ponder said...

How. DARE you, Miskatonic!

JA said...

Yeah the original is great but the two movies couldn't be more different. The original's got some fascinating stuff in it though, including some stuff I've never quite been able to decide whether if it's astonishingly homophobic or not. I wish I knew Mexican culture better so I could put it into context. Anyway I agree that Mickle's version is superior and he really is one of the best filmmakers, at least at his budget level, working today. I wasn't as taken with Cold in July as everyone else seemed to be but it's an interesting unexpected swerve for him. And Mulberry Street is surprisingly super!

Miskatonic said...

Um... Urr...

Sandisan said...

I also needed a recovery period after this movie. Just sat there, floored. So glad you liked it, it's definitely one of my favorites.

magla345 said...

if you really like "drenched in sorrow from beginning to end" you've got to check out the showtime series "penny dreadful". it's all morbid sadness and i can't quit watching it. like around 8-10 times already.

Stacie Ponder said...

Funny you should mention that! I watched a handful of eps from season one last year when visiting friends, and I fell in love with it. (EVA GREEN!! She kills it.) Haven't seen any since, but I finally picked up Season One on BR this weekend. Can't wait to dig in.

carter smith said...

You should check out the original Mexican version. The tone isn't quite as gloomy as the remake - but it feels so much fresher and original than this "re-imagining". When I saw it for the first time (the original) I was like WHAT THE F*%&#! AM I SEEING RIGHT NOW? It was such an unexpected surprise full of twists and turns. I had never seen anything quite like it. The filmmaker had such an undeniable voice and vision and was in complete control of his story. The idea of the familial bond is more central to the story of the original - and for me that's what makes this story so powerful.