We Are What We Are

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I’m compiling my end of the year lists, so I’ve been watching every 2013 horror movie I can find. Most of them have been awful. And there are a couple that were okay, but there are so many things wrong that it’s hard to fully enjoy them. But…this one surprised me. I had heard of the original a couple years ago, and had no idea a remake was in the works.

To my surprise, this is good if not better than the original. We follow the Parkers, a reclusive family that owns a trailer park. The day before a major storm comes through, the mother dies. The eldest and middle daughters are forced to make sure the house continues to function smoothly. What follows is a study of family loyalty and traditions. It might sound boring, until you discover the family tradition is pretty morbid.

The biggest thing that stands out is the dynamic between the two sisters. Both want to be loyal to their family, but also realize that there are some lines that families couldn’t cross. They’re basically forced to complete the yearly “cleansing” that was their mother’s responsibility. Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner are ridiculously good as the two daughters. Now that I think about it, this could be considered a coming of age tale from hell. The only downside is it’s somewhat predictable. It’s nowhere near as bad as it could be, but it’s not hard to figure out what’s going on.

That being said, I actually like this one. It’s a very slow burn, but just enough happens that makes you want to keep watching. The final reveal of why this family is so damn weird will blow you away. This is like Martyrs levels of messed up, but it was exciting to watch. After having to sit through 15+ bad movies this week, I was happy to find an exception. I give it 4 out of 5. The acting and writing were unbelievably good, as well as the overall setting. Give this a shot. It’s certainly better than most of what’s out now.

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