Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New Release - We Are What We Are

We are what we are is the rarest of beasts, a macabre tale that has the power to delight and disturb in equal measures with its unique take on a family under turmoil. Unlike the majority of horror films that focus on the victims and their struggles against evil, this unflinching portrayal of cannibalism follows a family of killers and their struggle to survive in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Mexican suburbs.

After the head of the family meets a gruesome end, it falls upon his eldest son, Alfredo, to take responsibility for the surviving members; his younger siblings and his grieving mother. Each of them have their own agendas and it is not long before these conflicting issues result in horrifying consequences for both the family and the people they prey on for food. The less known about the storyline the better, which is why my description of the plot is suitably vague, as the majority of the films more unsettling moments come as a complete surprise for the unsuspecting viewer.

Apart from Antichrist, this is the only film I have viewed where audience members have left the cinema during the more graphic scenes, and this certainly confirms that We are what we are is a very powerful film, not for the faint hearted but very rewarding for those that persevere. With cinematography on par to that of the hauntingly beautiful shots seen throughout Let the Right One In and a subject matter as realistically brutal as the gruesome deaths of the unsuspecting victims in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this is a perfect example of an atmospheric horror that chills you to the core by combining a stark yet realistic situation with unflinching scenes of violence.

The majority of modern horror films rely on cheap scares and shock tactics to batter the viewers senses and it is encouraging to see that there are still directors out there who clearly have a great respect for the genre and shift their focus towards creating a brooding atmosphere and a compelling storyline. This brave and accomplished attempt at reinvigorating a stale genre certainly marks Jorge Michel Grau as a promising director for the future and whilst We are what we are may not be the masterpiece that horror fans are hoping for, it certainly comes pretty damn close.


If you liked this you will enjoy these:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1973)
Don't Look Now
Let The Right One In
The Devil's Backbone