[Blu-ray Review] ‘We Are What We Are’ Is What It Is…

we are what we are

The Parkers are cannibals. Simple as that. They’ve been cannibals for generations and are intent on continuing the tradition. We Are What We Are is a play on the typical traditions most families enjoy, like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, and twisting them in an absurd way. The issue is the stylized form in which this story is told loses some of the potential impact it could have.

The American remake of the Mexican film of the same name, We Are What We Are tries to explain why the Parkers do what they do by adding the history of their family to the mix, unlike the original. Iris and Rose are sisters trying to carry on the family tradition after their mother passes away, even though they are reluctant, because they simply feel a sense of duty. A constant rainstorm has hit the rural town in which they live, causing a deep sense of depression to set the initial mood of the story. Along with the incessantly damp conditions, the film itself is dark and grainy, despite being a Blu-ray. Yes, in addition to the atmosphere, everything appears to be overly gray and drab – even indoors, which adds to the desperation the Parker sisters feel as they have to slaughter humans for supper. While it is an interesting setup, the film as a whole lacks in surprises or twists. More or less, what you expect to happen, happens – right up to the end.

The special features on the Blu-ray include an hour long making of featurette. This is one of the most stylized behind the scenes bonus features I have ever seen. The entire thing is ‘fly on the wall’ footage. No one ever speaks to the camera. A theme is never necessarily followed (makeup effects, locations, music). So, if you interested in learning anything about the making of a film by standing partially behind a wall or bush while watching it being made, this one is for you. Interviews with the cast and crew are included on the disc as well and offer some insight into the changes the film had in the remake process. Commentary is included with the cast and crew as well. The trailer is included and is actually a bit more entertaining than the film as a whole. The quality of the film, again, is murky, and the sound mix is good despite there not being anything especially effective in it that adds to the film.

Cannibal stories normally are terribly gruesome and overzealous, and in that respect We Are What We Are is a different approach to the dark subject. However, the constant dim style of the film itself outweighs what could be an intensely engaging story.