Remakes of foreign horror films are almost always a bad idea, but there are enough gems -- most recently Matt Reeves' excellent, arguably superior to the original "Let Me In" -- to mean that we'll always be optimistic when one comes down the pipe. And the latest to renew our faith, if word from Sundance and Cannes is correct, is Jim Mickle's "We Are What We Are," We were big fans of the original film a few years back, and the notices have been strong for the Americanized remake, which has been winning over several fans since premiering in Park City back in January. And the latest supporter of the film? Mexican helmer Jorge Michel Grau, who directed the original film.
In an exclusive statement for The Playlist, Grau says "To be honest, one would have to wait several lifetimes to experience what I felt seeing 'We Are What We Are'. I feel my skin screwing of happiness and my heart turns soft when I see a work as exceptional and smartly sensible like this. It´s a terrifying visual poetry. I knew that Jim´s talent would take the story very far, but I never thought that It would have such capability of getting inside my bowels, stir my soul and take everything from me. “We are what we are” is an X-ray of all my obsessions, is an improvement of my story. Jim Mickle gets to transcend with 'We Are What We Are' what 'Somos lo que hay' suggested, the family is our beginning and our ending. I feel immensely happy to have left in Jim and all his team´s hands the re-imagining of my story; no one ever made me feel so sure of doing what I do. Today I am in the same process, continue the story to transcend to its authors, continue the story to enlarge the team. I´ve never been so sure of willing to do something as I am now willing to make the sequel of 'We Are What We Are.'"
And as he says, Grau is putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak; as we reported last week, he's attached to direct an as-yet-untitled sequel to the American version, making his English-language debut. As for Mickle (who made his breakthrough with the quite fun "Stakeland"), he's just lined up his follow-up as well; Deadline report that he's stepping away from the horror genre to direct "Cold In July," a crime drama about Richard Dane, who kills a burglar, only to be targeted by the criminal's father, who plans to kill Richard's son in return. It sounds promising, and with shooting to begin in July, we should be hearing casting before too long. In the meantime, we'll have our own verdict on "We Are What We Are" from Cannes later in the week.