Grade • B+
DVD • Director Jim Mickle doesn’t bathe his horror thriller “We Are What We Are” in buckets of blood, so when he shows hints of red, they really make an impact.
The focus is on the Parkers, a Catskills clan about to perform its annual ceremony. When his wife, Emma (Kassi DePaiva), dies suddenly, patriarch Frank (Bill Sage) assigns Mama’s role to oldest daughter Iris (Ambyr Childers) — who’s torn about taking part and is eager to break free of her repressive father.
Mickle (who directed the vampire-apocalypse tale “Stake Land”) ratchets up the tension almost imperceptibly, as the littlest Parker, Rory (Jack Gore), frets about “monsters” in the basement and the nearby coroner (Michael Parks) investigates some gruesome missing-persons cases.
The brooding atmosphere is ultimately shattered by a satisfyingly shocking finale.