It’s another remake, but it’s a brilliant one. Jim Mickle’s patience with We Are What We Are turns the film into a slow-burning nightmare that makes up in its lack of scares with a jaw-dropping final act that will leave you speechless. The film centers around the Parkers, a reclusive family who follow ancient customs, find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area, forcing daughters Iris and Rose to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family.
We Are What We Are is a slow-burn in every sense of the meaning, creating a different kind of horror we don’t often get to see. When you tell a tale like this one, where it takes its time meandering through the story, it’s very important to keep the audience asking questions—otherwise we just get bored with it. What’s crazy about this flick is that Mickle manages to keep his story a mystery without even trying. The hints are there, but whether or not you figure out the film’s secret early on doesn’t really matter because nothing will prepare you for what Mickle has in store—and that’s what makes this flick so damn good.
When a film like this moves at such a slow pace it relies heavily on its characters, and while everyone did a fantastic job, Bill Sage absolutely steals each and every scene. Sage’s Frank Parker, the father in the film, is absolutely terrifying and has easily one of the most twisted minds the genre has seen in years. Sage puts a cold grip around your throat and never lets go as you see his character spiraling downwards and taking everything with it. He was a blast to watch and truly one of the scariest elements the film has to offer.
The film is surrounded by style and gloom as it takes place during a relentless downpour that leaves you feeling isolated and trapped with the Parkers. Its atmosphere alone creates a tension of its own and really brings this one to life. Sometimes the sound of rain hitting the rooftops can be calming, but not here, every drop is just a reminder of how very cold the film is, and that it’s headed towards a dark and twisted conclusion.
It doesn’t rely on a laundry list of jump-scares to fuel its horror because Mickle knows exactly where he wants us when we reach the finish line—and what a finish it is. He winds the film up into a tight rope of horror before letting it all unravel in its final blood-soaked moments. We Are What We Are is a uniquely twisted horror film that will leave your stomach in knots, and one of the very best genre films of the year.