16 February 2011

We Are What We Are

Written & Directed by: Jorge Michel Grau
Full credits at IMDb

We Are What We Are (Somos Lo Que Hay), a gory and somber horror movie, reargrounds its genre and advances its characters to the fore. In general, a laudable approach: forming an affinity for the victims—or even, as here, the killers—is what makes the merely grisly truly frightening. Scary movies depend on sympathy. But as sci-fi slog Monsters demonstrated last year, this strategy comes at a risk--what if the characters aren't sympathetic? What if they're not as compelling as the sensational backdrop?

That's the problem with this Mexican import, which concerns a family that just lost its patriarch and sole provider—of human flesh! He put the food on the table for this pack of Mexicannibals: a critical, controlling and castrating mother and three adolescent children. The movie looks like a (South of) Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel, but its themes are less macabre: it's more like French family drama A Christmas Tale with interludes of feral violence. The drama, though, is lame...

Keep reading at The L Magazine

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