Forty-seven year old Emma Parker seems very disturbed. As she shops at the local grocery/hardware store, picking up some rope, it's clear something is wrong. Is it physical or something she's worried about? She goes outside in the rain and her nose begins to bleed--then she stumbles, hits her head on a pipe and falls into a flooded ditch. Soon after, the police show up at the Parker Family's house to inform them that their mother is dead.
The Parkers are a reclusive and unusual family. The father is very strict and his teenaged daughters, Iris and Rose, and his young son, are clearly afraid of him. Now that the mother is gone it's up to the eldest, Iris, to take over her family role--and that role involves killing the people that her father captures and imprisons in the nearby cave. You see, the Parkers are cannibals. Throughout the movie there are flashbacks which explain where their tradition came from-- from the 1700's when a father had to provide for his starving family in the winter and kept on coming back with fresh meat. In fact, these are the very same caves where this happened centuries before.
When the local doctor, Doc Barrow (Michael Parks of FROM DUSK 'TIL DAWN 3) discovers a human finger bone by a flooded creek while walking his dog, this gets him thinking. He had done the autopsy on Emma Parker--and she seemed to have a neurological problem. He does some research and this could be from Prion disease, which happens with cannibals from eating brains. And we learn that the doctor's daughter had disappeared years before. Now, he believes that something terrible happened to her and that the Parkers may be responsible. Events escalate, with the daughters rebelling against their tradition and the doctor confronting the father.
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE is a moody, dark horror film with a plausible premise.
Jim Mickle (STAKELAND, MULBERRY STREET) once again gives us one of the best horror movies of the year. Highly recommended.