February 28, 2014 We Are What We Are (Movie review)
We Are What We Are is the latest innovative movie by relatively new writer/director Jim Mickle (Mulberry Street 2006, Stake Land 2010) and co-writer Nick Damici (Mulberry Street 2006, Stakeland 2010). While in fact a remake of the 2010 Mexican cult horror film Somos Lo Que Hay, this story is very different in many ways. Headed by some veteran actors, including frequent Tarantino/Rodriguez collaborator Michael Parks and Top Gun`s Kelly McGillis, the film was screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and in the Directors Fortnight section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Set in a small American town, the Parker`s are seemingly a religious family keeping mostly to themselves. Ruled by the father of the family, Frank (Bill Sage of I Shot Andy Warhol 1996, Boiler Room 2000, American Psycho 2000), the family is left devastated after the sudden death of a troubled Mrs Parker. Frank’s young daughters Iris (Ambyr Childers of Setup 2011,Gangster Squad 2013) and Rose (Julia Garner of The Perks of being a Wallflower 2012, The Last Exorcism Part II 2013) are now forced to assume their mothers responsibilities upon her death. These are unquestionably responsibilities which extend well above and beyond those of your average family. Assisting the family in their time of grief is neighbor and tenant of their trailer park, a kind and understanding character named Marge (Kelly McGillis).
Coincidentally at the same time Mrs. Parker dies, the town is caught up in a great deluge and consequent flooding. In what seems to be an unrelated matter, the rain brings a cavalcade of horrors and secrets begging to be exposed. For years young girls from the town and surrounding area, including the town’s local Doctor, Doc Burrow’s (Michael Parks) daughter, have disappeared never to be seen again. When the rain finally eases, Doc takes his dog for a walk by the river and finds what he believes to be a human bone. Dismissed by the Sheriff as an over zealous father, he seeks the assistance of local boy Deputy Anders, (Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn’s son Wyatt Russell of Cowboys & Aliens 2011, This is 40 2012). Deputy Anders looks into Doc`s claims and the possible link to the Parker family, fueling his own attraction to Rose Parker in the process, resulting in deadly consequence. With matters unfolding following the rain, it is not long before the Parker’s long dark horrific past comes back to haunt not just them, causing grave repercussions for all concerned.
We Are What We Are is elegantly smooth the whole way through, riveting you to the screen, scaring you more by the blood and gore you do not see rather than what you do. The soundtrack of the film is provided by Jeff Grace, Darren Morris, and Phil Mossman; and is possibly the most aptly well-developed musical score for a horror movie in recent years. In particularly, the song that is playing as the final credits roll, will make you giggle, despite the horrors you just witnessed. We Are What We Are is truly an amazingly effective film with quiet brilliance. CrypticRock give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.
For fans of this movie, a prequel and sequel have been announced. We Are What We Are is available on Blu-ray & DVD on Amazon now.Review written by R.L. Andrew