We Are Flesh - We Are Flesh( DVD/ Blu Ray) [Arrow Video - 2017]We Are Flesh is a Mexican art house horror film from last year thatís been causing a fair bit of a stir. The film blends together a stark post apocalyptic setting, transgressive acts, surreal & deranged womb like imagery, and a general feeling that anything can, and will happen. Iím reviewing the Arrow Video release of the film (both US & UK)- which either comes in DVD or Blu ray format.
Itís fair to say We Are Flesh is a film thatís very much split audiences- some see it as a pretentious, plot-less, and perversely over indulgent art film. While others have claimed it as a transgressive & deranged masterwork of art-house film-making. I guess Iíd say I fall somewhere between these tow.
The film is set in a seemingly post- apocalyptic world, and tells of a young couple (possible brother & sister) who come across the rundown & derelict property. With-in one of the rooms is a bedraggled & seemingly comatosed man- they awake him & slowly but surely they become his slaves, first building a strange womb like constructing from salvaged wood, packing tape, and cardboard. Then going onto to perform transgressive acts on each other. Blended into this we have a weird & name-less drug, that twists reality, cures poisoning, and brings back people from the dead. As with most art-house cinema, what is actually occurring & what is imagined or symbolism is really down to ones own interpretation. And really beyond the above description I wonít comment on this, as this is a film you have to go into fairly blind and unbiased.
So moving onto the plus & negatives of the film. And firstly the things I liked, the lead actor Noť HernŠndez, who plays the bedraggled older man, is simply inspired in his gleefully & unsettling performance, which falls somewhere between Charles Manson, a mentally unwell homeless person, and later a deranged game show-host. The more surreal, tripped-out, and deranged moments with-in the Ďwombí are both strange captivating & unsettling. And lastly the unpredictability of the whole thing really adds to the films ride from bleak to deranged & unreal.
On the negatives- in the first quarter of the film the pace is somewhat sluggish & unfocused, with only HernŠndez's manic & unsettling speeches really keeping ones interest. At times it feels like the director/writer is just thinking up more & more transgressive acts just to shock, with little or no deeper meaning. And lastly it sometimes gets too weighed down in its own oddness & possible meaning- but I guess you could say this about pretty much any art house film.
Extras wise on either the DVD or Blu ray version you get the following: a selection of ten minute plus interviews with the cast & crew. Two short early art house films from the same director, a trailer, and a just over half-a-hour dissection of the film by a scholar. And apparently the first pressing features a illustrated booklet featuring new writing about the film by critic Anton Bitel, and producer notes ,though I canít comment on this as I only got the review disc.
So in conclusion We Are Flesh is certainly worth a look if you enjoy the more art house side of horror, and Iíd be interested to see what the director does next. It clearly has itís moments of great-ness, itís just at times it feels like itís trying a bit too hard to be disturbing & cryptic. Roger Batty