We Are What We Are is a 2013 remake of a 2010 Mexican film of the same title. The story centers around a family that seems a bit cut off from the small town they live in. Their clothing and simple mannerisms suggest that they are a few steps behind modern society. The mother drops dead one day and the rest of the clan has to carry on the family tradition of ritualistically eating people.
The two girls are forced to do what their psychotic and domineering father says at all times which makes for many uncomfortable scenes, especially the ones when their little brother is present. They girls have been living this way for their entire lives and start to get sick of it. They have to decide between religious practice and what’s right, and that decision won’t come easy with their demoralized father always hovering over them.
We Are What We Are is another film that suffers from too long of a build up. It could have been significantly trimmed down to be shorter than its running of almost two hours. When the town doctor, played by the fantastic Michael Parks (Red State, Tusk), finds a tiny bone washed up in the creek behind his house he becomes suspicious of the town’s missing persons. From that point on the film picks up with the blood and visceral action, especially in the finale! I think the finale needed to be followed by a longer, more explanatory aftermath scene. After the events conspired unfold the movie just leaves you there with the tattered remnants. The last shot kind of shows what happens to the family, but with only that to go on, the story ends in quite an unrealistic fashion.
In the original We Are What We Are (Somos lo que hay) the father is the one to drop dead at the start. It makes me wonder if the mother in that film lives up to how menacingly cruel the father is this version. Bill Sage (American Psycho) as the father does an excellent job being the audience’s enemy while also somehow maintaining a shred of their sympathy and I commend his acting abilities. Even though this iteration of the story fell a tad short of my hopes, I think one day I will take in the initial Mexican variant. Perhaps next MASSACRE MARATHON.
3 human liver stews out of 5