Alyce Parker (Odeya Rush) dies after leaving a grocery store to go home one day. Her death shocks the family, and crushes her husband Frank (Bill Sage). He is left with three children to care for: his eldest daughter Iris (Ambyr Childers), his second daughter Rose (Julia Garner) and his young son Rory (Jack Gore). The Parkers are a quiet family, well-respected by the town and very religious. They work hard and they give a lot back to the community. The family doesn’t really mingle with the rest of the townsfolk. The Parker family’s new neighbour Marge (Kelly McGillis) lends Frank a hand with Rory, but later he decides that Marge needs to back down.
There are strange disappearances all around town and some neighbouring states where young women go missing. Deputy Anders (Wyatt Russell) is looking into a family’s fears as to what is going on when their daughter is also reported missing. Doc Barrow (Michael Parks), whose daughter disappeared a few years ago and has never surfaced, finds a bone by the riverbed after a rainstorm, and takes it up with Deputy Anders when Sheriff Meeks (Nick Damici) doesn’t really pay any attention. Meanwhile, behind closed doors Frank rules his home in a whole unexpected way. Religious and strict, he has the children fast for their specific meal. Now that Alyce has passed away, her duty falls to Iris to take over. The family carries a dark secret with them – the missing girls are dead. The Parkers have one which is killed an intricately prepared, almost ritualistically, for the family’s meal.
Iris and Rose have big problems when it becomes their duty to slaughter and quarter the girls. Rose is dealing with a whole new terror when she thinks that Iris will run off with Deputy Anders, who seems to have carried a flame for her since they were in school. Iris is attracted to him, too, and it seems that the girls understand whatever their family is involved in is not good. Frank seems to feel that his family is pure and perfect, and he loves his children, though he is incredibly disciplined and stern. However, between Deputy Anders and Doc Barrow, they begin to dig too deep and uncover more things that cannot simply be explained away, and Doc Barrow starts to make connections and draw conclusions he shouldn’t be doing.
Will the Parker secret be washed out with the rainstorm? Will the town figure out what has been going on in their little community for so long? Will Iris and Rose be able to continue with the family heritage? How will Frank react to everyone digging around? How strong is his connection to the world he lives in, or has he totally lost the plot? Will the girls stick around and continue with the line, or will it be passed along, moved away from them?
An 8/10 for We Are What We Are. This movie was slow paced but not enough to irritate me, and I feel for what it was it was laid out very well. The premise was interesting and extremely messed up. Julia Garner and Ambyr Childers were fantastic to be the daughters of such a loopy man. The entire way through the movie you wonder what exactly is going on, and the atmosphere itself lends to that sense of foreboding. When it all kicks in it is a rather disgusting story but so well told and keeps you hooked from the off. The psychological aspects of the film really engrossed me. I think that everyone was wonderfully cast, but Bill Sage as the father really stood out for me and needs his very own mention. He truly stole the show every minute he was on screen. The film looked beautiful too and was shot really well. This movie was interesting and nasty at the same time but it was good, and I would definitely recommend it for viewing!