Relentless dankness and a beardy, backwoods insularity are enough to hip you to the fact that not all is right with the Parker clan, a family of awful rituals. (For the especially slow, there’s also a ladled-on score of ominous strings and multiple shots of meat being either ground or fried.) After their matriarch suffers an accidental death, their way of life is thrown into a tailspin. Who will prepare the meals? And even if you haven’t seen the Mexican original, you wonder: Who will be the meals?
Anchoring the too-slow-mounting tension are Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner as teenage sisters born into a lifestyle they’re just beginning to comprehend is wrong. Their solidarity becomes touching; you wish director Jim Mickle had more visual confidence to make their perspective our own. Alas, there’s too much of a crusading doctor and a nosy lawman, breaking the claustrophobic spell. Outside of its cracked psychology (well conveyed by papa Bill Sage), We Are What We Are is horror leftovers, neither inedible nor piping hot.
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