31 Horrifying Days- Day 19: We Are What We Are (2013)

And what the Parkers are… are Cannibals.

At the beginning of the film, the matriarch is out to get groceries from a shop while torrential rain pours down. She stumbles, becoming confused. Then her nose starts bleeding horrifically and she falls dead.

Their father, Frank (Bill Sage, American Psycho), is a descendant in a long line of cannibals. Scenes of long dead relatives from the 1780s intermix with those of 14 year old Rose (Julia Gardner, Last Exorcism Part II, Sin City:A Dame to Kill For) and 17 year old Iris (Ambyr Childers, 2 Guns) after their mother dies. They keep people like cattle in barns, unhappy and hungry. After a flood, bones wash up in town and a few suspect that they may be human remains and start checking around, well intentioned neighbors get too close to the very secretive family and Frank starts descending into madness either from grief or Prion disease. Their father practically starves the girls and their young brother until they can have a proper dinner… where they dress like colonists and it’s creepy. 

The film is very creepy all together, drab tones, bad weather, nose bleeds, sickness, bludgeonings… eating people.

A man Iris has sex with gets killed on top of her. Their young brother Rory gets a fever and the neighbor tends to him, he clasps her hand, then sucks her thumb and bites her saying, “I’m hungry.”

After an autopsy is performed on their mother, Dr Barrows finds that it was not Parkinsons that they originally thought, but Prion. Barrows suspects that they are cannibals and that his daughter was their dinner and he confronts Frank. That sets in motion one hell of an ending.

Was it scary? It was gross and creepy. If I lived in a small town I’d be looking over my shoulder. Atmospheric and totally sick. 

It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and got a limited release, it’s an art film about cannibals. The blood and gore could have been amped up a little more… but man that ending is perfect.

4.25/5

This was directed by Jim Mickle who also directed 2010’s Stake Land which is about a vampire epidemic, I was impressed with We Are What We Are and might have to seek out that one as well.

Review! IN THE DARK a Horror Anthology

Drawn from a wide range of inspirations, stories reminiscent of childhood campfire tales, or Lovecraft-esque, or teenage action influenced and featuring creepy kids, self-sacrifice, monster hunters, petty revenge or something more existential, good people going bad, and bad kids going good from the tampering of horrific entities. What if the reason that jerk always checks his phone so much is that he needs to know when he’s going to change into a horrific beast? Nothing is as it seems here IN THE DARK.

inthedark

Among my faves:

The Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley penned story Guilloteens a punk rock Buffy homage with a Scooby gang monsterhunters and on one night they find a house being used by were-wizards for nefarious reasons. Were-wizards. So cool. Cute characters and extra blood spatters made awesome by artist Christian Wildgoose.

All Things Through Me by Mike Oliveri, artist Mike Henderson follows the son of a fallen priest who can communicate with the dead and has a knack for possession on a house call in a small town and stumbles on something local law enforcement would rather he hadn’t.

When the Rain Comes by Steve Niles is a creepfest about repercussions of fearing what you don’t understand. Damien Worm’s super creepy art is killer here, cloudy scratches, scribbled silhouettes capture the essence of the mysterious creatures that come forth to a farmhouse after a flood.

The Body by Tim Seeley, art by Stephen Green, mixes urban violence with a supernatural avenger.

Final Meal by Christopher Sebela and Zack Soto makes me glad to be vegan after reading this eerie tale about feeling like a God on the top of the food chain following a sad character who can’t get enough of sucking life from between his teeth.

The One That Got Away, written by Scott Snyder (who, y’know, writes both metropolis and Gotham’s heroic dudes) plays off our expectations when a young boy is approached by a knife wielding character.

Brian Keene’s The Lost Valley of the Dead is set in a wild West zombie plague. Tadd Galusha brings it with well drawn zombie animals sporting dripping fangs and exposed ribs. In trying to escape the disease they find a hidden entrance to a world of dinosaurs ..things get even crazier when the T-Rex ingests the zombie coyotes. Zombie freaking dinosaurs.

Swan Song by Rachel Deering takes a break from the plethora of werewolves and features a gorgeous vampire and the dashing would be hero who unknowingly unleashes a monster.

Extra treats- faux vintage ads and page 185’s horror trivia crossword! I’m thinking about sending $3.25 to get my “Creature in a Crate”.

Whether you like your villains internal, supernatural or humanly homicidal and your main characters twisted, teenaged, tragic or triumphant and your settings futuristic, realistic or rustic IN THE DARK has something for you. If you didn’t get in on the ground floor for this one order one from your local comic shop, IDW is printing and shipping this rad compilation soon.