We Are What We Are (2014)

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Jim Mickle directs Ambyr Childers, Bill Sage and Michael Parks in this horror drama about a cannibal family coming apart at the seams after the matriarch’s death. 

A strangely mute experience especially considering it comes from the team behind the engaging Cold in July and fervent Stakeland. The emphasis is more on Terrence Malick than Texas Chainsaw and that can test the patience. For example; the moment where the two teenage daughter perform their first kill seems awkwardly underwhelming for what should be a scene rich in gore and drama. Still it has that chilling, silvery washed out look that makes it all feel more important than it is. The acting is uniformly better than the genre requires with a special shout out to Michael Park deserved. His sympathetic coroner turned detective is as about as strong a piece of genre acting as you can get, his absence is felt whenever he is off screen. There’s also a few nice nasty jolts in the finale that feel like they belong in a less pretentious, more enjoyable movie.

5

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