Wednesday, 26 August 2015

No.234 : We Are What We Are (2010)

We Are What We Are at the IMDb

 I don’t normally add release dates to my titles but this Mexican film was remade in America in 2013 and we may have a look at that later, but I doubt it unless it is rated a lot higher than this frankly dull and unappetising feature.

The film concerns a family of cannibals living in plain sight in a modern Mexican city. It opens with an older man staggering through the streets, pausing only to throw up some dark fluids and to ogle some swimsuits mannequins. He’s warned off by the store owner before he keels over and dies - he won’t be shopping there again! As soon as he hits the deck a clean up crew is on the scene to remove his body and his vomit before fashionable consumers pass the spot as if nothing had happened.

This shows right away that the city is somewhat removed from what we would see as normal and I’m sure it’s also making some point about consumerism that I’m too slow to fully comprehend. The action then moves to a small market where two brothers run a watch repair stall. Their customer service is somewhat lacking when an unhappy customer gets a bunch of fives for compensation and their day is further spoiled when they are informed that the man we saw dying earlier was in fact their father.

They head home to tell their mother and sister of the news and a family crisis meeting is held. Dad was the chief provider for the family and mum is concerned that the two boys may not be up to the job of replacing him. It’s not immediately clear what they are up to but matters are soon resolved when we witness the father’s autopsy which includes a finger, complete with nail varnish, being removed from his stomach. Clearly not one to chew his food!

The family are cannibals and they need a body on a regular basis to both eat and to complete their rituals. Meanwhile the wacky autopsy experts hand their findings and the finger to the equally offbeat police who are less than interested. What follows is a quest for food and a somewhat haphazard police investigation which leads to an inevitable conclusion with plenty of gore along the way.

I expected more of this film given it was deemed worthy of a remake and its interesting premise. I think my problem was that I just didn’t care about the family nor was I totally grossed out by their antics. There were a few kills but most of the nasty stuff happened off camera or behind a large plastic sheet. We never really got to the heart of their motivation and they seemed more or less normal which wasn’t unsettling at all.

The whole film has a skewed from reality vibe but that just took it further from the realms of horror for me and into a fantasy world where nothing really mattered. The two brothers were OK but a bit too brooding and lacking in character for me. For cannibals they were fussy eaters with prostitutes and homosexuals both off the menu despite their easily available flesh. I’m sure this was a commentary on society in general with the cannibals more caring than the world at large but that was kind of undone with some of their generally shabby behaviour.

Something may have been lost in the Spanish translation but or me this was just a bunch of weirdoes hitting people with spades and chomping down on fake flesh with little or no point to the whole enterprise. I wasn’t shocked or horrified - just a bit bored and in an 80 minute film about cannibals that’s pretty poor going.

Best Bit - Off to the dancing’!
‘W’ Rating 12/23

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