DVD We Are What We Are

DVD We Are What We Are
DVD We Are What We Are
Run time: 105 min
Rating: 5.8
Genres: Drama | Horror | Thriller
Director: Jim Mickle
Writers: Nick Damici, Jorge Michel Grau
Stars: Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner
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 fervor, 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. Written by Entertainment One
Plot Keywords: single parent, single father, brother sister relationship, holding hands, religion
Country: USA, France
Release Date: 25 October 2013 (UK)
Box Office
Opening Weekend: $13,727 (USA) (27 September 2013)
Gross: $76,633 (USA) (25 October 2013)


  1. We Are What We Are is an English language remake of the Spanish film Somos Lo Que Hay. The word remake is sometimes looked upon as a dirty word amongst film geeks. Trepidation regarding the quality of remakes will always exist, it's only natural.

    Both films are entirely different from one another despite sharing the same premise. Somos Lo Que Hay was (in my opinion) a pessimistic film rife with social commentary in regards to Capitalism and Poverty. We Are What We Are deliberately ignores that commentary and instead focuses in on the religious fundamentalism of the ritualistic family as its central theme. We Are What We Are is not just a mere shot for shot remake; it's a different beast all together.

    Director and Co-Screenwriter Jim Mickle lift's the premise of the original film and relocates it from the Inner City of Mexico to the back end of Sleepy Rural Southern America. The film follows the reclusive Parker family and the bizarre rituals they practice.

    It all begins when the Matriarch of the family unexpectedly passes away. Devastated and unable to cope with the sudden loss, the Patriarch (Bill Sage) of the family regresses into an emotional collapse. Leaving his two teenage daughters, Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner), to ponder over who will step up to the plate and continue the cannibalistic rituals that the family practice every other Sunday.

    The Parker's do what they do under the guise of believing that it is a penance that must be performed in order to be saved in the eyes of the lord. They follow the writings of a diary kept by an ancient patriot relative who suffered through a harsh winter with very little in the way of food supplies, thus resorting to cannibalism out of desperation.

    They treat this diary as if it were their equivalent of the holy words of scripture. Thus the diary has been passed down from generation to generation and is seen as a rite of passage into adulthood – in this case the eldest daughter Rose is next in line to inherit its 'teachings'.

    The family is kept under the strict ruling hand of the Patriarch — played with unnerving intimidation by Bill Sage. He is a domineering force as he preaches his beliefs and traditions to the family in order to keep them together and to push forward with the annual ritual. Much like the film as a whole, he has a simmering rage boiling underneath his controlled exterior demeanor that threatens to erupt at any given moment; making him all the more frightening and intimidating.

    His dominance makes life all the more difficult for his two teenage daughters who, with the recent death of their mother, are starting to question the ritualistic ways of their existence. They yearn for something else in life and struggle to come to grips with what it is they are. Much like the original film, denial plays an important factor for the siblings as it does for almost everyone else in the film – be it the savages or even the town sheriff denying suspicious foul play in his town. The siblings hide in denial of facing who they truly are until they are forced by cruel fate to face the beast that resides within.

    Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner are excellent finds for these roles as they both deliver subdued and nuanced performances. They fit the mold perfectly as the somewhat reclusive children who can't quite fit in with the outside world. They have the frail and pale physical complexity that compliments the dreary and rain soaked atmospheric mood that the film radiates.

    While the family prepare for their next ritual, a flood hits the sleepy town washing up evidence of human remains to the surface. This attracts the curiosity of the local town Doctor, played by the always wonderful Michael Parks, who is still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his daughter. Parks serves as a replacement to the bumbling and fame hungry detectives from the original film. This is actually a wise decision as Parks bring a measure of soul and humanity to the grisly proceedings and is a more then suitable change.

    Much like its spiritual predecessor, it isn't a film that relies on an overabundance of plot turns or 'gotcha' moments. It's a very slow and deliberately paced film spanning over the course of four days. This is reflected with its use of stilted yet beautifully composed cinematography made up of a dreary, rain-soaked and moody palette of rustic greys. It shows a surprising amount of restraint and has patience in taking its time building its tension whilst shining the spotlight on its characters and themes.

    It's a very unassuming film where the tension is always simmering underneath just waiting to erupt. When it erupts, it grabs you by the throat unexpectedly and bites in hard. Unlike most Cannibal films that focus on gore for gore hound sake, it keeps the gruesome stuff to a minimum. But it is all the more effective for doing so. It is most surprising as the norm for most American remakes is to usually dial the volume way up to eleven. Yet this one is surprisingly restrained, maybe even more so than the original.

    As far as remakes go, We Are What We Are is a fascinating case study of a remake done rather well.There is no familiarity between both the movies, despite a few casual sly nods of referencing here and there to the original film, it stands apart as a drastically different film that has something else on its mind and as is, it does stand very well next to its original counterpart. 7/10

  2. I went to this film not knowing a thing about it. It really made a difference in the way that it was perceived because I didn't expect a thing. I didn't know if I would see something about an inventor, or a heist, or a love triangle… I had no idea.

    This film captures the mood of an area of Upstate New York known as Delaware County. If you visit there, you get a feeling that people 'round them parts keep to themselves and don't care for telling anyone from outside what it's like.

    In many ways this is not a creepy film with tension building again and again along with sudden "Boo! Scared Ya!" moments. That kind of stuff gets old quickly anyway. The strength of this film is in its professionalism. It's like everyone is trying to rise above the dreaded B level.

    At the beginning of the film there are thunderstorms and floods that portend the rumblings of something unusual going on, and throughout there are beautifully photographed scenes showing the drenched landscape and lush vegetation of late spring.

    The acting is excellent, most likely because the actors were provided with something that is rare in many films these days – a great script. Along with the mesmerizing musical score you are brought along at an even pace, mystified by the strange occurrences and behaviors.

    By the end of the film, which builds to significant tension, you realize something more terrifying than you would have thought, with a horrifying twist, and a final country tune that might give you chills.

  3. Excellent excellent excellent. Acting, writing, directing, cinematography, and scoring all superb. This is what horror films are all about. It's about time someone made a good one. I am watching the original very soon. I highly recommend this film.

    In this day and age it is rare to find a gem like this. It is so atmospheric. The dark foreboding environment which embodies this film is fantastic. Set in deep country during a horrible flood, this follows the story of a sadistic family and their ghastly rituals. I won't say much else. It's better not to know a lot about this film going in to it.

    http://www.DavidScottFilms.com fb.com/davidsfilms

  4. Look, I enjoy horror movies as much as the next guy. I enjoy just about every genre in fact, but with horror, I am rarely in the middle. It is either darn good or it kind of sucks. What is so great about "We are what we are" is that it really reinvents the genre. There is a little Donner party type sub theme lurking in the background, but it just encompasses its' own little niche.

    The point I am trying to make is that a lot of people that love horror are not anxious to see the latest slasher flick. By its very theme this film will draw the attention of guys who can't wait for the next installment of Hostel or Rob Zombie's next film, and they probably won't care for more than about a minute of this film. Though they may think that one minute is one of the best minutes of any horror film ever made. Those aforementioned type films are usually on my suck or don't bother list BTW.

    This is a well written, well acted, fantastically directed and exceptionally scored Gothic horror story. I feel like I just saw my first film by a future great director and am anxious to see his earlier work. Let me touch a little on the score. The composer is a former member of LCD Soundsystem. I really liked those guys. But I am off on the wrong foot here cause the soundtrack has nothing to do with LCD Soundsystem. This is pure Bernard Hermann. Fantastic score to add to the suspense.

    From what I understand calling this a remake is like calling Interview With a Vampire a remake of Dracula. I have not seen the original, but my understanding is that this film is substantially different.

    It is a truly dark film until the very end where there is Grand Guignol scene that will really mess with your mind. I hope that anyone that appreciates a really good story like The Woman in Black,The Conjouring, Sinister, Skeleton Key, The Others, or Carpenter's The Thing ( I had to throw that in cause Kurt Russell's son has a large role in this film) will take a leap of faith and see a film with subject matter they might not normally be drawn to. You really won't regret it.

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