WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (2010)

WAWWA3

Written & Directed: Jorge Michel Grau
Cinematography By: Santiago Sanchez
Editor: Rodrigo Rios

Cast: Adrian Aguirre, Carmen Becto, Francisco Barreiro, Miriam Balderas

When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals.

Now there haven’t been too many cannibal movies lately or i believe evewr that didn’t resort to a supernatural element as the reason. In this film there are no mutants, zombies or aliens. Only humans and their nature.

The film has a normal family of cannibals in mexico. Who have always depended on the father of the family to provide their meat . When he dies someone has to take over as head of the household. The film wisely doesn’t go for scares and plays out more like a drama with thrilling moments. It is a bleak film that deals with the family dynamic and it’s dysfunctional nature. They have alot more problems then what they seek to eat.

The film presents this family as normal but shows the extreme activities they are capable of, but they are synmpathetic at least compared to other characters who don’t exhibit the animalistic behavior but do actions and personalities that are much darker then the family would ever even consider.

I like that the family is shown as poor but mild mannered and low key. not as a bunch of freaks. Th emain inspiration seems to show how far a person will go to provide for there family. The film also makes the situation interesting by having the women stand-up at first to take over as head of the family and do whatever it takes. Then have the men step forward as a sense of pride and embarassment, Which may have been the women’s plan the whole time.

The film feels full but it also feels like it is missing something. A ingredient that would make this dish perfect. I can’t put my finger on it. This is still a impressive film all the more when you find out the budget was only $750,000.

The film has odd moments of humor and a side plot that should be interesting, but seems more like a afterthought to bring about a exciting 3rd act. There is violence but it is not gratuitous and may reek of a little too much realism for some. The film doesn’t pull it’s punches.

The film could be called a horror film, but if you go in expecting the film to be only that. You will leave disappointed. it has a horror attitude and shots but it is more in the mold. In it’s heart it is drama. It is a small film worth discovering. It’s a film that catches you off guard.

Writer-Director Jorge Michel Grau obviously has a future in making movies. I can’t wait to see what he does next. I’m sure like this film it will be very subversive.

GRADE: B-

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