There is a small percentage of horror films that are completely dedicated to cannibalism, each more disturbing than the next. Once cannibalism-based film, “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980), actually put found-footage on the map. Then there is the ever-so-classic “Silence of the Lambs” featuring everyone’s favorite Hannibal Lecter…
However, few are as disturbing as We Are What We Are, adapted from the 2010 Mexican horror film of the same name.
“We Are What We Are” tells the story of the Parker family, who, after suffering a horrific loss in their family, must continue the ancient rituals their family have been practicing for years. It is up to Iris Parker, the eldest daughter, to continue the tradition…but when their secret practices become threatened, will they keep it hidden, or will it be exposed?
I went into this film with absolutely no idea what it was about, other than reading the Netflix synopsis. Typically, I’ll check reviews of films first, just to see what I’m getting myself into, but I promised myself that this time, I would go in completely open-minded. I should have read the reviews, considering it earned an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes (you know Rotten Tomatoes…they brutally score films, if your film has a mistake, they’ll find it) extracting reviews from viewers like “A rare example of a remake that is as good, if not better, than the original.” and “Who can resist a good cannibal movie?”
At first, I thought I honestly was not going to enjoy the film. The first scene was gripping, slightly disturbing and strange, and then from there things slowed down. For the next 45 minutes, I felt like nothing was happening. To be honest, I was getting very, very bored. All was quiet, slightly strange with flashbacks to ancient times that are kind of cheesy and not so well done, and I was listening to them mumble, which was making me crazy. I think I rewound about 4 scenes to turn the volume up because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. (Maybe that’s just me, though…)
You begin to see a romance blossom, trust begin to bloom, and then suddenly, with horrific splendor, things start to come to a head. About an hour into the film, (with a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, this is a long time to wait for the plot to really pick up), the gore begins. For a fan of gore like myself, this was greatly welcomed. You’ll find entrails, beatings, lots of blood flowing…it’s fantastic.
The last 40 minutes of the film, I sat with my jaw on the ground. Gripping my glass of water, I stared at the screen in disgust, terror, and absolute horror. The twist of the plot at the end absolutely made the film. It was the best feeling watching a horror film I’ve experienced in awhile. I wish I could post a reaction where you could all see the face I was making, but I definitely do not want to embarrass myself this early on in our creepy relationship. I’ll just let you know, it was along the lines of scrunching my nose, my eyebrows were about up to my hairline in surprise, and my lips were curled down into the most disgusted look I could manage. I’ll let that picture marinate in your pretty little brains. No pun intended…
I finished the film with that same expression on my face, and found myself saying “well, I wanted pizza…but now I don’t.” It honestly takes a LOT for me to be turned off by pizza, or any food in general for that matter, but this really left me feeling revolted.
If you’re looking for a film to really shock and disgust you, rather than relying on jump scares, “We Are What We Are” is a wonderful film to look into. Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner are highlights of the film, conjuring up feelings of sadness, disgust, and somehow, sympathy. Watch this film if you’re a big foodie and want to try something new (it’s kind of like watching Food Network! You know, if you’re crazy) or if you’re trying to really freak yourself out. The sound effects make it.
Enjoy, my little ghouls! I look forward to talking again soon.