By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 9, 2012 at 12:31PM
No surprise here...
I profiled, saw and reviewed this Mexican film in late 2010, after it premiered at the New York Film festival. IFC Films later picked it up and released it in a limited run in early 2011.
I suspected that an English-language remake would eventually come, and, sure enough, it's happening.
ScreenDaily reports that Stake Land director Jim Mickle is set to remake the cult cannibalism drama Somos Lo Que Hay (We What We Are), with Memento Films International (MFI) backing the project.
Mickle will transfer the story (originally set of Mexico City) to "a poor part of the Catskills region in New York State," with filming expected to begin in June.
No word on casting yet though.
As I said in my review of the film, it's a cool premise - a family of cannibals, in present-day Mexico city, is left lacking, wildly anxious, after the sudden death of its patriarch; the widow and her three teenage children are in a frenzy to continue a family tradition that involves the hunting and gathering of fresh human meat.
If you're expecting something gruesome, and salivating at the thought of it, don't. It's more of a slow-burning suspense drama - a visually accomplished feature film debut for Jorge Michel Grau that laconically narrates a story about survival, set in the seedier sections of Mexico's largest, densest city.
There's a subplot that I think cheapens the film a bit, and derivative tail-end sequences that spoiled the film more than helped it, but I appreciate how Grau just throws us right into the story, with little explanation of when and where exactly we are. There's no explanation as to why this family that exists in a world not so unlike ours, are cannibals, or how long they've been as they are, although there are hints that they aren't alone. There's no scene or sequence of birth or transformation, as we'd see in vampire and zombie movies, for example. No one is bitten or infected in some other intravenous manner. The film begins, and we're asked to just accept that these people are who they are (as the title suggests), and your willingness to tolerate this will influence your appreciation for the film.
All that said, it's not the strongest work, but I'll take its little bit of disappointment over a lot of the studio films I've seen since then.
We'll have to wait and see how this Americanized version is handled - whether they'll play up the blood and gore hoping that will draw audiences to theaters, instead of the slow-burn, character-driven narrative that is the original film.
Look for the original on DVD or VOD before this remake is released likely next year.