Remakes… whether you welcome them or loathe them they are a major part of film these days. The concept of originality seems to give the executives in Hollywood a headache. While I love new, original stories, remakes can on rare occasions be an excellent re-imagining. I have never seen the original film titled Somos lo que hay (2010), but I can say confidently that the comparison between the original and the 2013 remake is very similar to Let the Right One In and its American remake, Let Me In. Two films made from the same story only a few years apart from one another. However, with this remake a different take on the story is created. Whichever you feel is the better one I leave for you to decide. As for this film, We Are What We Are… prepare for the odd.
At first, the movie wasn’t really striking me as all that interesting. Giving it more time, though, the film then began to make more and more sense. Once you get to a certain point in the film you begin to remember things that ostensibly didn’t work but start to have more clarity as the film progresses and details are revealed. This film has elements of drama and horror, and includes religious undertones all leading to a finale that made my jaw drop. The religiousness that is showcased is purposeful, so if that kind of thing bothers you please give it a chance. No one is trying to convert anybody, the religion of these people is what drives their actions, and it is merely a tool to drive the plot to its vehement conclusion.
Tradition can be a good thing; the traditions of putting a tree in the house for Christmas or the gathering of family on Thanksgiving are always nice. Then there are traditions that no man should partake in; a kind of ritual the Parker family participates in every single year and have done so for centuries. A nice enough family who do their part, nothing particularly off about them, and they even congregate with other towns people without issue. Their secret is well hidden and for good reason. Their surreptitious actions are ones that would garner them the electric chair if ever discovered. This particular year is more difficult for the family to carry out their “duties” as a severe storm has arrived.
On top of the impending storm the death of the mother has forced the eldest daughter to take on the deceased mother’s responsibilities. As the storm passes grave secrets are washed up in the light of day, and when the town’s medical examiner discovers them his suspicious eye lands on the Parker family. Signs of resentment and fear begin to creep up in the daughters as they watch their father become more determined than ever to finish the ritual. It is the cost of doing this that has the girls worried of what’s to come. Remember this though; innocence is a fleeting and sometimes hollow thing.
As the film drove on I started to get a similar vibe to one I got when I watched Stoker, which is a bad thing. Both are very slow but where We Are What We Are separates itself from that terrible film is in its finale. Even the slow buildup is far more interesting. The ending rewards the film’s viewers for being patient as it tells its story slowly but methodically. As things become known the town goes from relatively normal to more skewered and off kilter. It begins to resemble a meat locker the more you get to know this family and just what exactly it is they’re up to.
My comparison to Let The Right One In and Let Me In was simply the similarity of frequency between original and remake. Other than that Let Me In was made almost shot for shot from its predecessor, whereas Somos lo que hay and We Are What We Are have the same basic outline but the gritty details are very different from one another. I can’t speak for the original but I can say for this one that it’s worth the watch at least once. It is executed well and the acting is adequate with a solid story line. Its genre would rest well in both drama and horror. Keep in mind before watching it that the film is weird, slow, and most definitely not for children or the faint of heart.
Rated R For: disturbing violence, bloody images, some sexuality, nudity and language
Run Time: 105 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Bill Sage, Jack Gore, Michael Parks
Directed By: Jim Mickle
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls
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