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.
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.