‘We Are What We Are’ is a ‘remake’ of a Mexican horror film. Now, I haven’t seen the original, but – according to other reviewers who have – this new version only really borrows the basic source material and puts its own American spin on it. I can’t compare the two, but, as it began, I had high hopes for it.
It’s about a family in a small American town who, after the mother of the family dies suddenly, start to have to face up to life without her. This would be hard enough, but this family are also cannibals who believe in eating humans as part of their religion.
It’s a horror movie. However, in Hollywood it seems that there are only really two types of horror films these days – zombie outbreaks and Japanese-inspired ghosts who terrorise single parents. Perhaps I’ve got a bit too used to those two variations of the genre and couldn’t really appreciate this one. It doesn’t conform to many of today’s horror films. It’s well-shot, subtly acted and oozes brooding menace. These are all plus points for the film, but the only thing that struck me was how slow it was. After about half an hour I was praying for someone to impale someone else on a chainsaw. By an hour I was struggling to recall a single pertinent event at all!
Kelly McGillis deserves a special mention as the local doctor who figures that there’s more going on in this town than he can put his finger on, but, despite his excellent performance, it still doesn’t move things on as fast as I was hoping it would.
I hope I haven’t become completely immune to subtle horror, as, deep down, I know this film was actually quite good. I just wanted it to speed up a little bit more. You really have to be in the mood for something slow to sit down and watch this.