I was not happy. Not only did I watch the original We Are What We Are this year, but now I had to watch a second, remade version of the same goddamn movie in English? Oh Hellfire and Brimstone and shit on a stick. This did not seem to be my year. I am happy to report that We Are What We Are (the remake, not the original) was exceptionally good full of moments both heartwarming and sickening and rich with the sort of emotional connectivity that I was actually hoping to feel from the original picture. Where the original picture feels dull, slow and tired, the remake has a cast that can carry each dreaded morsel straight to your mouth. It’s coming out on DVD/Blu-ray shortly, so this would be the time for you to make a determination. You’ll want to know what they are.
Synopsis From Amazon/Entertainment One:
The Parkers, a seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, keep to themselves, and for good reason. As they struggle to keep their ancestral customs intact, local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that they have held closely for so many years.
Let’s drop the comparison for now. We Are What We Are opens strong with moments of confusion and mystery that build into a shadowed moment of somewhat tear-filled agitation. That’s not to say I actually shed tears during this movie, but the performances by the young actresses in this movie are really powerful. I’d say they make the movie. They bring great tension and inner-conflict to roles that could be dry and drab and allow the focus to solely be on the patriarch in the movie. In doing that, this movie would become generic. Just another movie about a dominant father who has some really bad ideas and follows through on some nasty traditions. What separates We Are What We Are from generic horror with a basis in the strange cause of superstitions bordering on religious zealotry is the focus on how children can become killers or adapt to strange, violent customs while trying to find their own identity and make choices about who they are. In essence they are the antithesis of the title.
There are some shocking scenes of intense violence as well as well planned murders that crescendo into a finale that is well worth the wait. The picture steps on egg shells, paced perfectly to keep you guessing what you already know to be true from the outset. The mystery is not the focus, but most likely you’ll be yelling at more than one character trying to share what you already know. Even though you know what the “secret” is you’ll be hoping that there’s a damn good reason behind it. I hope you get the response you’re looking for.
Do not watch this hungry. Do not watch this movie with fresh prime rib, but also, this is NOT the successor to Silence of the Lambs as has been stated. It’s a very different movie without mystery, with poetry and grace but lacking the severe edge of a Jame Gumb character to generate the proper fear response. It’s melancholy horror with genuine bits of sadness among some more brutal scenes.
The disc has a making of feature, interviews with the Director, Jim Mickle, and Bill Sage and Julia Garner. The Cast and Crew provide audio commentary.
Overall what you’re looking at is a movie that is cast better than the original and feels as though it was paced better. I couldn’t get into the original cast and felt little emotional attachment to them. My opinion of the original is not the norm however. Some people truly enjoy it, and so I have to urge you to check them both out, but if I was going to be purchasing just one of the releases, I’d make it this one.