We are What We Are (2013)
Starring: Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner,
Plot: Following a family tragedy, two teenage sisters are forced by their domineering father to keep their cannibalistic clan's macabre traditions alive.
My Review and Thoughts:
There have been many countless cannibal type films but very few work. There are some that are extraordinarily memorable and stand out to be recognized as stark, dark, and very controversy. With all that said, behold this is one that stands out as something original, something to remember and something thought provoking. This was created through great cinematography, actions, story, editing, filming and most of all the acting. A perfect little gem that lingers long after the credits roll.
The dark setting, the rural atmosphere, small-town persona add to the mix of the story. I enjoyed the mystery of the family and the ultimate coming together as a complete almost Gothic setting. After the tragic death of their mother two sisters Iris and Rose must continue the legacy, not a normal legacy, but a legacy that's riddled in the darkness and insanity of their father.
Cannibalism, the very idea is enough to make your stomach turn. It’s enough to make your mind race with the idea of eating human flesh. Its one thing to be a cannibal, but too brutally kill someone to eat the flesh is all the worse. I'm not talking about cannibalism were being stranded in the middle of the mountains in the snow, with people from a plane crash and the only way to survive is to eat your frozen dead. That's surviving and not murdering to cannibalize. Trust me if I was one of those in the snow and there was a bunch of dead frozen bodies and the only way to survive is to eat that, I would be like "butter those biscuits because here I come."
Okay I've clearly gotten off the subject anyways the point is cannibalism is one of those taboos. One of those disgusting disturbing ideas of the human conscience, the carnivore devouring the very flesh of oneself, of one's human anatomy, of one's Human persona. It's been a subject throughout history.
Mr. Parker runs his house, his land, his nest with a sadistic reality that plays perfect with Bill Sage's acting in the part. The whole cast is wonderful. The shining two stars are the characters of Iris and Rose played stunningly and amazingly by Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner.
We Are What We Are is a remake of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name. This is directed by a wonderful new comer to the movie world Jim Mickle. This is his third film under his belt. He directed and co-wrote one of my favorite underrated 2010 films Stake Land. He has away with creating a story with the lens. He builds a slow-burn mentality and a character driven plot.
This stars one of my favorite actors of all time Michael Parks. He never has really got the push he deserved. He has been acting since the 50's in lots of character driven parts. Lots of side characters and memorable persona's throughout his long ordeal. A true veteran of the cinema world. In his later career he has become a staple in Quentin Tarantino films. He plays the same character in three of Quentin films. The character of Earl McGraw in Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill 1 and Grindhouse. He also was in Quentin's Django Unchained. He also was truly iconic in the role of Pastor Abin Cooper in 2011's Red State. I will always remember him as Jean Renault in the cult TV show Twin Peaks.
Another actor and the co-writer to all of Jim Mickle's films is Nick Damici. He and Jim have worked in all 3 films together Mulberry Street, Stake Land, and We Are What We Are. Nick plays the sheriff in We Are What We Are.
This also has a small cameo by the truly iconic independent director, actor and writer Larry Fessenden. Larry produced Jim Mickle's and Nick Damici's Stake Land.
Also for all you movie trivia buffs this stars as Deputy Anders Goldie Hawn's and Kurt Russell's son Wyatt Russell.
Even though this is a remake of the 2010 film, I still feel this version contains a very stable and original setting that is able to build the complex story for the viewer. The mystery and the riddle and the conclusion is a dark fairy tale of folk lore type of reality.
I think what I like most about this was that it relied on story. It relied on character. They didn't overdo it with gore. It was actually done with story and plot which was woven around the violence. I enjoyed the closed in setting. The family dynamics. The flashbacks to the ultimate truth to solve the mystery. I enjoyed the personas for each of the actors owned their parts.
I felt this was flawlessly directed. It held my interest from beginning to end. It didn't give too much away. It didn't explain everything like a dictionary; which is also its plus. I believe this day and age movies give too much away and do not let the viewer guess or use their brain to think.
I think this is a brilliant horror film that truly is an independent little masterpiece. Wonderful slow burn, creepy, sadistic and psychologically insane. Truly a brilliant awesome film that if I would had seen it last year it would've made my top 10 of 2013.