We Are What We Are

discs the act of killing

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Act of Killing Indonesia, like many countries, has a dark and bloody past filled with brutal death squads and mass killings. The difference is that unlike those others the people of Indonesia continue to celebrate the murderers, and many of those killers still walk the streets as heroes of a cruel and sadistic history. This documentary puts us in the killers’ midst as they tell their story using the medium they love so much, film. Joshua Oppenheimer‘s film is an absolute marvel both in what it sets out to do and in what it accomplishes. The “characters” here are madmen in charge of their own fates and world, and the view they have of their shared history is more disturbing than any horror film. The only thing more terrifying than hearing them talk about what they’ve done and how they feel about it now is watching their efforts to recreate it all in front of the camera. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Theatrical and director's cuts, interview, commentary with Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog, featurette, deleted scenes, trailers, booklet]

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2013review_horror

Boo. Now turn off the lights, pull your feet in under the covers, and keep reading for a look at our choices for the Best Horror Movies of 2013.

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Reservoir Dogs

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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We Are What We Are

When one of 2010′s most gruesome horror films was getting rebooted, people were intrigued. How could Jorge Michel Grau’s We Are What We Are, an ambitious film about a family of cannibals living in Mexico City, translate to American screens? Well, you’re about to get your answer. Enter Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are, this time following the totally normal, nothing to see here, Parker family in the Catskills. After the death of their mother comes swiftly in the night during a spooky rainstorm from something called “Kuru Disease” (google it, I believe it rhymes with Hannibalism), Rose (Julia Garner) and Iris (Ambyr Childers) are tasked to carry on the family tradition by their father (Bill Sage). 

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One of 2010′s most wicked independent horror films is getting an American remake, thanks to a pair of up-and-coming filmmakers. Director Jim Mickle and his screenwriter partner Nick Damici are now set to remake Jorge Michel Grau‘s We Are What We Are, the best little Mexican horror flick about a family of cannibals you’ve likely never seen. As our pal Peter S. Hall points out, with Mickle signed on for the remake, that means that a film from 2010′s Fantastic Fest is getting remade by a director who also had a film at that same FF. Synergy! Mickle and Damici’s Stake Land played at FF, as well as at Toronto as part of their Midnight Madness sidebar (where it won the People’s Choice Award). The film followed a set of survivors attempting to scrape by in a post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by vampires. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film, Mickle and Damici infused their characters with believable and likable qualities, and then set them against an appropriately gritty and terrifying background. And Grau seems to agree, saying “I feel fortunate to have someone with the vision and talent Jim has to re-interpret my work. It is extraordinary to have a team of filmmakers so respectful of the spirit of a film and take such good care of its essence. I’m so proud to know We Are What We Are will be reworked under that kind of intelligent frame of mind. Very happy that Jim will construct a new […]

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: After the death of their patriarch, a Mexican family attempts to continue the way of life that he provided for them. Oh, did I mention that their “way of life” is that they’re cannibals?

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This Week in DVD

Sweet Jesus there are a lot of new releases this week. If there’s one common theme among them it’s that (with only a couple wide release exceptions) all of this week’s titles are smaller films, older films, or foreign films. I’m as much a fan of blockbusters as the next guy, but there’s something to be said for the small joy of discovering a movie that never had a chance at your local multiplex. Unfortunately, there’s a second theme in this week’s releases… specifically in the Avoid section. I love horror films, but most of the ones releasing on DVD today are simply not worth your time. Skip the three in the Avoid section below and instead check out some of the many titles worth Renting or Buying including Live Like A Cop Die Like A Man, Bodyguards and Assassins, Source Code, We Are What We Are, and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Trust A young high school student forms an online relationship with someone she believes to be a fellow teenager but who turns out to be a thirty five year old pervert. She quickly becomes the victim of sexual assault, but that’s just the beginning of her family’s nightmare as they all struggle with the truth of what happened. Director David Schwimmer does a fine and non-sensationalist job with a topic that could so easily have become exploitative, and he’s aided by two fantastic performances from Liana […]

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The Week That Was

It’s been a very big, hyper-serious week here at Film School Rejects. Well, everything but the hyper-serious part anyway. We celebrated a big birthday by finally getting potty trained, we pulled the wheels of a big time movie director’s campaign against critics, we rapped to you, we reviewed a bunch of movies that weren’t so great, we reported on epic, Asgardian trailers and movies about Egyptian democracy and we interviewed people, shared opinions about movie universes and took you to Funky Town. Okay, all but the part about Funky Town. But you know it’s coming. Bask with me in the glory of this week’s best articles as we recount The Week That Was.

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Writer-director Jorge Michel Grau faces a steep challenge with We Are What We Are. As the maker of an existential drama centered on a morose family of Mexican cannibals, Grau must find some way to connect his audience to the material, to unearth the humanity behind a gruesome, depressing subject. Let the Right One In and Let Me In, its American remake, established a template for this sort of enterprise, mixing the pangs of young love and the aching loneliness of the vampire’s everyday existence with the characteristic gore of a genre flick. Yet, cannibals are less sympathetic than vampires, the pop culture ghouls-of-the-moment, whose survival depends on human blood. There’s something far less romantic about humans who devour other humans just because they’ve developed a taste for them instead of, oh, McDonald’s. Filmmakers have traditionally understood this: Aside from one Hannibal Lecter, it’d be hard to finger a movie cannibal of note.

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The Reject Report

Liam Neeson throwing elbows, Martin Lawrence throwing his weight, and Alex Pettyfer throwing just about everything in the room with his mind are what’s on the docket this weekend. It’s an eclectic mix of comedy, sci-fi, and mystery/thriller that should prove successful for the overall numbers, but what will come out on top? Let’s see how each of these films breaks down going into the box office.

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An elder man stumbles through a shopping area, stares painfully into a window, stumbles some more, falls, and then dies alone on a sidewalk. While alive he wasn’t alone. He was the head of a family that included a wife and three children (two young men and one young daughter) who depended heavily on his being alive. He was the household’s primary breadwinner as a wristwatch repairman, their main voice of direction, and the collector of their next meal.

In most cases, being a family’s primary source of income coincides with being the one who provides the food, assuming the family doesn’t cultivate their own. This family does neither. They don’t pay for it, at least in terms of monetary expenses, nor do they grow their own – at least not in the sense that they don’t inbreed and wait nine months for a feast. Although, aside from blood relation the latter half of the previous sentence isn’t far from their situation. This is a family of cannibals and without the father’s experience at capturing prey and going undetected their food supply is running dry and the sons become responsible for replenishing without getting caught.

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This evening, in a ceremony held at the world famous Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, TX and emceed by Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League (a very pink-haired Tim League, to be exact), the winners of the Fantastic Fest 2010 jury and audience awards were announced. According to the official press release, the juries were “comprised of some of the most esteemed filmmakers, critics, festival directors and show biz people in the industry. Their thoughtful deliberations provided the following acknowledgments of cinematic excellence in all things Fantastic.” One of these juries included yours truly, so esteemed might be a stretch. At least for me. Everyone else was quite esteemed. Alas, check out the award winners after the jump.

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And the hits keep right on coming… and by “hits” I mean awesome movie announcements from Fantastic Fest 2010′s already incredible film schedule. The first wave of titles was announced last month and included several highly anticipated films like Let Me In, Ip Man 2, Golden Slumber, Outrage, Red Hill, and more. Earlier today the second round of titles was released, and as expected the list of upcoming movies represents probably the greatest gift to mankind since pizza. Fantastic Fest 2010 runs from September 23rd through September 30th. The official press announcement is below…

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