'We Are What We Are' Review By Horror Focus

We Are What We Are may test your patience to a brave extent, but it hits the mark on delivering an effective mature piece with a superb cast and a darkly macabre final act.
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
We Are What We Are, originally a Mexican horror, now remade by Jim Mickle hit selected theatres a couple of weeks back, with a showing at Film 4's Frightfest, and bagging the Best film award at Frightfest plus the very high rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes I felt as if I needed to watch this. As expected, We Are What We Are proved to me a strong poetic piece that proved a strong punch within the genre.

Jim Mickle is most notably known for his successful character-driven vampire flick Stake Land, and although I found that patchy and unsuccessful, there were a lot of fantastic elements there. We Are What We Are reeks the same stench Stake Land had, both run on the same style establishing just the type of films Mickle makes; if you weren't a fan of Stake Land then We Are What We Are shouldn't please your horror needs. Aside from the superb final act, I myself found this as a somewhat bland take on a lively story; the final outcome proves to be very pleasing but patience is a virtue, and We Are What We Are tests that to a risky extent.

Played with a straight-face, this film ignores the fun the horror genre has been having this year, and plays it all the strongest of intents, delivering a powerful poetic cannibal piece that displays the life of a cannibal family, and although the original was said to be a more fun take on a deep story, Mickle displays a true character-driven piece with a delicate touch of innocence and a mean bite for gore. It's very sophisticated in its delivery, and although this may not be what the horror genre needs, it's still something that works, creating a strong impact within the genre, and sub-genres within that; it may be a tale of a dysfunctional family link, but it's also a mature horror tale of dark macabre.

Along with the gore lies a clever story with a superb cast and an intelligent taste for cannibalism horror flicks. The central cast are fantastic as presenting the family life of the Parkers, and both Childers and Garner add depth to the what would be a one-dimensional piece, their chemistry makes the belief of sisterly bond more dependable, and there negative approach towards the father, played by Bill Sage who comes across as unconventionally evil; sitting back and letting his daughters do his dirty work has a somewhat frightening feel to it. The touching scene that shows the sisters "making the dinner" is the scene where I knew it was going to get better from then on in, and to my delight I was right. The whole back-story for their doings ties it all up into a neat little bow, and with that final scene it's hard to forget something that was so truly and disturbingly effective. Jim Mickle may have missed the mark with Stake Land, but he has gone something exceptional with We Are What We Are.

VERDICT: We Are What We Are may test your patience to a brave extent, but it proves to be a dark and twisted tale of a family with a shaming lust for human flesh, it hits the mark on delivering an effective mature piece with a superb cast and a darkly macabre final act.

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Comments (7)

  1. Horror Focus

    @skywise yes please do! I would be interested in knowing your opinion on it, and i will give the original a watch

    1 year agoby @horrorfocusFlag

  2. skywise

    And I would be very interested in a review (or at least your opinion) after watching the original.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  3. skywise

    @horrorfocus I agree with you thay some of the more emotion driven horrors can be hard to watch but I find that the more invested I am in the characters (or the more I actually care about them) the more of an impact it has on me. Of course I love watching the "fun" horror films.

    Horror is one of the most versatile genres with so many interesting sub genres but not everyone is cut out to making them. Creating a GOOD horror film takes real talent and a lot of that comes from the actors themselves.

    The bottom line is that I appreciate horror in all its forms but am really thrilled when I discover one that keeps me invested in what is happening on screen. In my humble opinion i find that the more emotion-driven pieces are the most effective.

    Although I really enjoyed the original I feel that I will like the remake. I would be very happy to let ya know what i think when I see We Are What We Are.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  4. Horror Focus

    I actually haven't but I discussed it with someone who really liked it. I think it's an even game really, people take a lot of dislike towards remakes but if your treat it like a film of it's own something from this film might shine

    If you have a similar opinion to me with horror then you should know yourself that serious emotion-driven horror's aren't exactly 'fun' to watch, but this was intelligent and something fresh to the genre. Give it a go and let me know what you think! @skywise

    1 year agoby @horrorfocusFlag

  5. skywise

    @horrorfocus Did you ever see the original and if you did how do you think the 2 compare against each other.

    I know that is not too relevant to being able to enjoy this remake but I am interested in your opinion. I find that our taste in horror is very close (most of the time).

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  6. Horror Focus

    @skywise This is a very serious horror, and although it could have done with a little more fun it worked, it was enjoyable, but it was compelling and I really appreciate it for that.

    I, Loved the ending! it was so bizarre and fantastic

    1 year agoby @horrorfocusFlag

  7. skywise

    I was a big fan of the original but have heard the ending on this one was not so great and took away from the tone of the movie. But you did enjoy it right?

    I still have not seen this remake but I need to.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag