We Are What We Are

Being a cannibal is no fun. Pensioners have the chewy consistency of biltong: their skin weathered by 80 years of disappointment and self-loathing. No one knows the correct gas mark with which to cook a pancreas. And you never quite escape from the eerie suspicion that you’ll get a pubic hair stuck between your teeth like particularly curly floss.

Just like a people-eater trying to find sustenance at a catwalk show, the world of indie horrors generally offers slim pickings. Remakes. Reboots. Uwe Boll. It’s enough to cast you into an eternal Nietzschean funk.

A remake of the grimy, almost social realist Mexican horror of the same name, We Are What We Are excels at the genre’s trickier attributes. It looks fantastic with a sombre, washed-out palette. Thematically it warps tradition, religion and matriarchy into something sickeningly sinister. The atmosphere forebodes too, with hints at the mysteries hidden by the Parker family.

It’s not so successful when it comes to pacing as the tale trickles down its grisly stream, thus rarely allowing that atmosphere to flourish into something more exciting. The pay-off, however, is as flesh-chewingly excessive as anything since Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day.

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