Jim Mickle’s reimagining of Jorge Michael Grau’s Somos lo Que Hay is nothing short of brilliant. After the death of their mother, Rose and Iris Parker are charged with continuing an ancient family tradition that would make Hannibal upchuck. When mudslides begin to unearth the family’s dark past, and Doc Barrow (an excellent Michael Parks) starts to suspect the family of evildoings, Frank Parker (Bill Sage) will stop at nothing to protect what remains of his family in the only way he knows how. Tense, bloody, and visceral, We Are What We Are is a modern masterpiece in which Jim Mickle (Stake Land) proves he has what it takes to go all the way to the top of his field. Beautiful cinematography, and great performances from all involved (especially Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner as the reluctant daughters), We Are What We Are is undeniably stunning.
Jim Mickle made the cracking Stakeland and here he manages that most difficult of feats – the remake that’s a lot better than the original. Set in a flooded, rustic, rotting town, the Parker family are struck by tragedy when mum dies, with the task of performing their yearly ritual falling to teenager Iris. A very slow burner that’s probably not best watched on the last day of a festival when you’ve had little sleep, We Are What We Are is Mickle’s best film yet and there are great performances all round.
JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT
Director: Jim Mickle
Writers: Nick Damici, Jorge Michel Grau
Starring: Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner
Running time: 105 min
FrightFest Screening: 26 August 2013
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