During a heavy rainstorm and subsequent flood in upstate New York Emma Parker dies in a freak accident leaving behind two teenage daughters, Iris and Rose, her young son, and creepy husband Frank. Frank, who looks like he stepped out of a daguerreotype, is devoted to his self-defined fundamentalist religion and with the death of his wife he expects his two daughters to take over their mother’s “duties” and “God’s will”. Rose is reluctant to carry on with the family’s strange lifestyle and rituals but she is strongly influenced by Iris who places heavy emphasis on protecting the family’s secret heritage from outsiders.
The remote town has had a number of missing people over the years and as the flood-waters swell the river on the family’s sprawling property a number of bones is unearthed. A local doctor whose teenage daughter disappeared years earlier becomes suspicious when he stumbles upon one of the bones while fishing. Enlisting the aid of a deputy the two begin poking around the Parker land. A nearby neighbor also becomes suspicious when she hears the moans of a female emanating from the Parker’s dingy shed. With time running out Frank becomes increasingly unhinged doing whatever is necessary to protect the family’s secrets.
Wow, this is the best movie I have seen in a long time! Artful and haunting with crisp cinematography, excellent performances, and a terrific subtle score, “We Are What We Are” is a chilling Gothic tale about female empowerment. Like “Stoker” (2013) this film is a slow burn punctuated by brief moments of shocking violence. You will be hooked within the first 3 minutes. Check out the trailer: