Waiting for October

I don’t know where August went, and September is flying by too! Some of you may know that by day, I work full-time as a medical librarian. Classes started back up in August and frankly, work has been crazy busy. I looked back and was horrified to learn I haven’t watched a horror movie since the second week of July. I have still been participating in the horror world, though. In July I renewed my Horror Block and Box of Dread subscriptions and have been enjoying those. I’ll try and do a better job of adding unboxing posts to the blog. And last week I received my pre-ordered copy of Until Dawn. I’d like to post a review of that here too but in short, it’s an awesome game.


For September, I expect to have a little break before things get busy again. October for me work-wise is a strenuous month; we have to teach a series of classes to medical students, I have to plan some programming activities for my library in celebration of National Medical Libraries Month, and I also will be traveling to Puerto Rico to attend a medical library conference (I’m presenting a paper and a poster too, yay!). These are usually how Octobers are for me but this year, I am making a point to actually enjoy my favorite month. I have a mini-vacation scheduled for the BF and I to visit Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, Florida. I haven’t been to HHN since 2009 and the BF has never been. We booked a cat-friendly hotel to take our special needs kitty and will be visiting HHN for 2 nights. I am totally hyped! Especially for the Insidious and Freddy vs Jason houses.


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Super Shorty Reviews

In lieu of full-length reviews, here are a few mini-reviews for some of the films I’ve recently seen.

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) – Original concept, highly recommended
The Sacrament (2013) – Unnecessary, not recommended
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014) – Silly and irreverent, recommended
Snowpiercer (2013) – Okay, I could take or leave it
The Quiet Ones (2014) – I don’t get the hate, I enjoyed it
As Above, So Below (2014) – Okay, I enjoyed it

While unintentional, most of the recent movies I’ve seen have been first person/found footage. Some people aren’t fans of this style but I don’t mind these types of films (as long as the camera work sin’t too shaky). Longer reviews to come (sooner than later, I hope!)…


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Movie Review: “We Are What We Are” (2013)


To belatedly celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided to post a review of a movie that really stuck with me. I watched We Are What We Are months ago but its cannibalistic theme makes a fun seasonal addition to my review blog.

First off, I didn’t realize We Are What We Are (2013) is a remake until I began working on this review. The original version came out in 2010 and was a Mexican release. I don’t know anything of the original, how or if it varies from the 2013 American version, but it may be worth watching.

I’d heard this film mentioned in a few upcoming horror blogs that I follow and was interested in watching it as soon as it came to a convenient format for me.  So when the film hit Netflix, I added it to my queue knowing only the premise that cannibalism was involved.


The film begins with the story’s matriarch passing out in a ditch during a torrential downpour. There’s a small-town atmosphere and the local sheriff breaks the news of his wife’s death to Frank, an overbearing father of two teen girls Iris and Rose, and a young son Rory. Frank is too upset to identify the body and sends his teen daughters to town instead.

We soon learn that the family lives in a remote area of the woods and also that the mother was essentially the glue holding things together. The family functions around their extremely deep-rooted traditions. The children are home-schooled, the home is extremely modest with no technology, and the father assumes the role as bread-winner. In the wake of their mother’s death, Frank-an abrasive bear of a man-soon demands Iris and Rose fulfill the role of the homemaker, including all the grisly-and occasionally implied-details that go with the territory.


As the story progresses, we see the sheriff conducting a investigation of the case, including an autopsy of the mom, researching her condition, and also interrogating the family. Things are personal for the sheriff because his own daughter went missing in the area, adding to the laundry list of other missing teens.

And that’s where I will end my summary as I don’t want to spoil too much here for those who are interested in experiencing the film on their own. There is a lot more going on than I described, various layers of the plot, however for me, part of the intensity of this film was seeing those first-hand.

Overall Impression:

I really enjoyed We Are What We Are. It’s a smart, tense, and unique movie that has subtle yet gruesome developments. The actresses who play the teen daughters, Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner did a great job and really carried the film. Plot-wise, the story is really rich and I’d love to see some literary criticism of all the subtexts and nuances buried within the plot.

My main annoyances with the movie are more personal. I’m a medical librarian and some of the research doesn’t hold up but hey, it’s a movie so I can forgive that.

If you’re looking for something smart and different that will get under your skin, I highly recommend We Are What We Are.

Pros: tense, good build up and character development, great acting, psychological
Cons: slow-paced, not necessarily in your face horror, subtle, a little predictable

Mash-up Status: The atmosphere and pacing remind me a bit of Stoker (2013) with the same uneasy father feelings as Frailty (2001).  I’ve seen some compare this to The Hamiltons (2006) but since I haven’t yet seen The Hamiltons I can’t say so myself.

Rating: 7/10

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