There has been much praise heaped upon first time director/writer Jorge Michel Grau and his cannibal horror "We Are What We Are" and many people have seen it as one of the best horror films of the year if not the decade.
They are right.
This is the sort of intelligent and thoughtful horror film that includes "The Exorcist", "The Shining", "Let The Right One In", "Night of the Living Dead" and a handful of others. With nods to "Dawn of the Dead", the previously mentioned "Let The Right One In" and the low budget, indie aesthetic of "Blair Witch" and "Paranormal Activity"it is not hard to see why so many are so impressed.
Inhabiting a world that is, thankfully, a million miles away from the awful, vulgarity of the likes of "Saw" or the torture porn of, say, "Hostel", "We Are What We Are" manages to do what so many horror films attempt to do but that so few fail to do...be genuinely disturbing and absolutely realistic despite the, seemingly, outrageous concept at its heart.
When the patriarch of an impoverished family collapses and dies on the beautifully kept walkways of a shopping mall his family are plunged into chaos. There is nobody to provide financial support and, more importantly, there is nobody to provide food...which for this family means the flesh of other humans; frequently unsuspecting prostitutes with whom the father is obsessed.
Left behind are the mother, two sons and a beautiful daughter. A desperate attempt to find a sacrificial lamb for the mysterious "ritual" that they family must carry out for reasons that are never explained sees the sons attempt to abduct a street child, successfully abduct a prostitute and then watch as their mother brutally murders her before declaring her inappropriate for the "ritual". At the same time the boys are being hunted by two put upon and largely incompetent policemen whose efforts result in a terrifying climax to the film.
For those who see horror as being about blood, guts and the torture of women "We Are What We Are" will be a crushing disappointment and a source of frustration...which is a something to celebrate and I hope many of those people pay good, hard earned money just to be left feeling cheated, it's no more than they deserve for their oafishness.
For those who see horror as a serious and thrilling genre which can act as a vehicle for commenting on society and its ills as well as being a means of providing upset and disquiet in our, frequently, sanitised lives then "We Are What We Are" is a glorious treat.
Everyones a winner...except the losers.