I am on a roll with watching movies that I meant to watch like a year ago. Looks like I'm putting laziness to bed suckers...... until my next wave of laziness.. mwahaha.
Anyways. Out of all the movies that have come out recently, We Are What We Are has been at the top of my must see list. I figured it was one of those movies that I would appreciate--probably filled with enough artistry to keep me satisfied and then also some great performances and horrific subject matter to boot. It was also about cannibalism which I find to be one of those sub-genres that people think are 'cool' but then they get a whiff of a really powerful cannibalism film that isn't terrible and is like you know... terrifying and they suddenly remember that they prefer the lackadaisical style of cheesy slasher films and/or horror movies structured around the presence of some boobs.
Cannibalism does not mess around. And We Are What We Are definitely does NOT mess around. So much so that I still find myself playing the ending scene over and over in my head and then dying a little bit on the inside. It's plaguing me with its horror. THE HORROR.
The film centers around a family of -'unspecified' religious nut bags. Or maybe they did specify it and I was too busy trying to not be fooled again that Senor Esteban Vihaio is not really Mexican. But actually no, I think it's supposed to be unspecified because that makes it more terrifying. So yeah. Religious nut bag father, his two daughters and son try to cope with life after the untimely and suspicious death of the matriarch. As the film progresses we slowly start to be let in on their little 'secret' and fall prey to the horrors that come with knowing about it.
I wasn't entirely sure this was about cannibalism until about an hour or so into the film. It's set up in such a way that the audience has to do a little detective work on their own. We aren't given an open book look into the family and their private lives. We are there with them yes, but it's like we have to get to know them first before being let in on the secret. That basically rocks because it allows us to really absorb the characterization of the family before becoming completely disgusted and upset about that they do.
It's important for instance to understand and to know the daughters. Their lives are controlled by their father and their family's longstanding traditions but when we meet them, we start to see things that things are unraveling for them. Now that their mother is gone and the oldest daughter must assume the main responsibilities, they are finding it hard to swallow. Pun INTENDED.
Truly, I felt very moved by the entirety of the film. But nothing was more terrifying than watching that ending scene. I like to think that I have a fairly strong stomach but watching that was....difficult. It was also disturbing just because of what it suggests. The implications of their actions (and what they chose to take with them when they leave), is almost more disturbing than everything else.
I'm also in love with the cannibal sickness---Kuru. I had remembered this from an X-files episode and was thrilled to see its name pop up again. The realization that the family has been doing this for centuries and then connecting the apparent 'symptoms' with the mother's death at the beginning was a moment of pure genius.
Alright well I came here armed to talk about stuff and wax poetic on We Are What We Are but I'm failing. Let me just say that I loved this (well like loved it like giving someone an imaginary hug love because really I am a little terrified of what actual contact would bring you know?). It really makes you think and appreciate the fact that there are things out there more terrifying than monsters and serial killers. There are traditions. And religion. And internal prisons. Man.....it's scary out there.