Video review: We Are What We Are
We Are What We Are is one of the best horror movies of 2013 and, oddly enough, my review of this dark, dank and disturbing film was one of NERDVANA’s top viewed articles of the year. It’s a gothic tale that harkens back to the days of EC Comics’ titles like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror, but that can also stand as a modern classic and an exploration of organized religion and blind faith.
You can read my full film review of We Are What We Are on NERDVANA, but here I’m just going to cover my thoughts on the Blu-ray review disc (provided by Entertainment One) and its special features.
The movie as seen on this disc is brighter and crisper than it was on the big screen, and that’s a good thing due to its inherent darkness. Most of the story takes place either indoors or in the rain, but the more luminescent video picture allows you to view details without giving up the intended tonal gloom. Aesthetically this was a much more entertaining movie on video than it was in the theater (which is most likely the theater’s fault.)
An Acquired Taste: The Making of We Are What We Are – This is an unusual “making of” bit in that it doesn’t appear to have a lot of effort put into it; as if they shot the footage for it then ran out of time and money to try to construct an actual documentary; so they just put canned music to the footage and left it at that. Only the most serious of fans or film students are going to get much out of this feature.
There are titles for the location and day of shooting, but beyond that you’re simply just watching the filmmakers at work, going about their often monotonous business. One thing that was of interest was how much of the rain in this picture was manmade while they were shooting in mostly sunny weather. It goes to show how much effort was made to set the tone for the film.
Interviews – This is a nice short that showcases director Jim Mickle and the actors Bill Sage and Julia Garner, simply talking to the camera about their involvement in the film and the development of their characters. Although this segment is much shorter than the “Acquired Taste” feature, it is infinitely more entertaining and informative. Prediction: I think Julia Garner has potential to be a huge star in the future.
Theatrical Trailer – I had never seen the film’s trailer prior to watching the movie, but it’s a nice lead-in to the gothic horror that you have ahead of you – and without giving too much away.
Audio Commentary – The audio commentary feature that goes for the length of the film has writer/director Jim Mickle, co-writer Nick Damici, actor Bill Sage (Frank Parker), actor Julia Garner (Rose Parker) and cinematographer Ryan Samul, all in a room commenting on the film as it runs. This is the best feature on the disc and conveys the filmmakers love and enthusiasm for their work, which is in stark contrast to the tone of the film itself. These people live to make movies and their excitement is contagious.
You can read my full review of the film HERE. We Are What We Are arrives on DVD and Blu-ray video this Tuesday, January 7, 2014 (SRP $24.98 – but it is currently available on Amazon for just over $14.00.)