we are what we are – mexico (2010)

We Are What We Are

I was first curious about this film when I saw the posters for it on the platform at Walthamstow.  It was foreign and looked like it was about young zombies – where could it possibly go wrong?

Oh but it did.  It went wrong so badly somewhere along the way!

It starts out in a shopping centre, with a middle-aged man (acting rather zombie-like), trying toi get at a mannequin in a high-end clothes shop window, when suddenly, he collapses and dies.

The story then cuts to his home, where he has left a wife and three teenage children.  It transpires that they are not zombies but cannibals, with a need to devour fresh, human flesh that their father has always supplied them with.

Sons Alfredo (the oldest) & Julian argue over who should go and ‘catch’ their next family meal, egged on by their headstrong and often belittling younger sister Sabina, as their mother seems to have just given up all hope.

Alfredo isn’t really a strong patriachal figure (which seems proven when he ends up drawn to a gay club to try for a ‘catch’), so his younger brother Julian steps in and takes over – he is a far more hotheaded teenager type, better equipped for doing what is necessary.

They seem to attempt to downplay their desire for human flesh by following complicated rituals before eating their victims – making it almost a religious necessity.

In the meantime, the autopsy on their father has revealed a human finger in his stomach, wich has obviously raised questions, and the outside world is closing in on them.

This is a really gritty dark film set in the poorest underworld of Mexico – it is a brilliant idea with just the right setting, and yet it never really seems to deliver.  The depth of story is lacking, which makes the goriness almost too much to bear in places.  I never felt emotional about this family, who had just lost a father and who were doomed to being outcasts their whole life.

This was no ‘Let The Right One In‘ which the poster implied.

I think the most tragic thing about this film is that the actor who played Julian was killed in a gunfight soon after, at the tender age of 19.

My rating – a very disappointed 5/10.


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