Director Jim Mickle has spent the past several years serving up some truly head turning films such as ‘Mulberry Street’ and the post-apocalyptic vampire tale “Stake Land.” His latest cinematic endeavor, 2013’s ‘We Are What We Are,’ is no less beautifully horrifying.
“We Are What We Are” focuses in on the Parker Family, who hail from the Catskills and are steeped in mystery. A chain reaction of events is set in place and the family’s long-standing traditions are put in peril after the family patriarch, Frank (Bill Sage), loses suddenly loses his wife, Emma (Kassi DePaiva). As a result of her untimely passing, Frank assigns Emma’s role in the family to their oldest daughter Iris. We soon discover this is no ordinary family tradition as Frank heads out into the night with a head of steam to procure a less-than-willing volunteer for the grisly family get-together. The Parker’s teenage daughters, Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner) are genuinely torn about the new responsibilities which have been suddenly thrust upon them.
As a tremendous storm rages in the town, matters are made worse for this family struggling with change. Their long-standing secrets are threatened to be revealed by the police, a curious neighbor (Kelly McGillis) and a local doctor (Michael Parks) unearth the skeletons in the family’s closet. A heaping helping of terror isn’t all that is on the menu for the family feast and as well done as this film is, it will leave you hunger for even more!
“We Are What We Are” is a remake of the 2010 Mexican movie of the same title, directed by Jorge Michel Grau. With that being said, while director Mickle (“Stake Land”) utilizes the basic story of the original, he blends his own touches of creepy atmospherics and knack for gripping tension to make it his own. Mickle blends moments of tenderness along with sheer brutality like no one else in the business, which is what I find most gripping about his work. He is definitely a filmmaker to keep an eye on in the years to come.
THE VERDICT: GRADE A
Bonus features include:
• “An Acquired Taste: The Making of We Are What We Are'”
• Interviews with director Jim Mickle, cast members Bill Sage and Julia Garner
• Audio commentary with cast and crew
Entertainment One unleahses Jim Mickle’s ‘We Are What We Are,’ an Official Selection at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals, to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on January 7, 2014.