Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Foreign Fears: Somos Lo Que Hay (We Are What We Are) Mexico (2010)

written by Steven M. Duarte

I was especially excited in viewing this film as I had heard great buzz surrounding this Spanish film. I knew the basic premise surrounded a family who recently lost their father who was the sole provider for the family. The twist here is the family is not your ordinary family. They feast on the living and kill their prey to survive.

While I can’t say I was overly satisfied with the final product I can say it was a well put together film that is worth a view or two. The family has a certain resemblance to a certain family that resides in Texas. They have a dirty house with an obsession with wall clocks. They keep to themselves and keep their social activity to a minimum. There is an internal struggle within the family of who is going to be the new alpha male leading the pack. This plot point never really fleshes out and the film pretty much ends.

I can’t go about writing this piece without pointing out the similarities between this film and the Hamilton’s. They both centered around eccentric families, one being vampires the other cannibals, both center on the families struggling to stay alive, both having strong family members who are strict and act as the muscle of the family. The Hamilton’s has been out for awhile and its extremely hard to not have it in your mind when viewing this film.

What does hold the film back is the many missed opportunities. For one the family references to the “ritual,” the entire film. By the time the film is done we do not get a viewing of this ritual nor do we even know what it consists of.

Secondly, the gore could have been turned up a notch. Now I know gore never makes a film but considering that these people are cannibals we could have done with a little more blood and guts.

While not a great film it still is one worth a viewing to see some decent foreign filmmaking. On a side note see if you get a flashback from a certain Guillermo Del Toro film. I won’t give the scene away but your sure to remember once you see it.

--Steven M. Duarte