Based on the Mexican film Somos lo que hay? This one’s got creepy written all over it. The ending is shocking as is the rest of the film; however, there’s something familiar about all this craziness-in-the-name-of-religion that seems to be getting a lot of play in the horror genre these days.
What I’d like to talk about is this film’s use of Bibliomancy or the use of sacred books to divine events or set the funding of a happening. In this film it’s an old diary that is kept like a precious heirloom, hidden for most of the movie. When the mother of the family dies, the book is taken out and given to the oldest daughter who reads it. As she reads we hear passages about how their peculiar way of life came about and how that in turn has led to their particular disease.
It’s no different than any religious use of spot citing passages for an agenda without reading the whole section for context. One thing history has shown and that is radicals of every faith can use their sacred texts to justify evil deeds. This film simply illustrates one extreme end of that use.
The ending is also extreme and only for the strong of heart and stomach. The story is compelling. The original version has the father dying and the mother trying to carry on the traditions with her two sons and young daughter. In the American version it’s the mother who dies leaving a small son and two older daughters. This change may seem insignificant, but there’s a whole lot of psychology involved in this shift. With a mother in charge, the sons are seen as part of a family working together for survival. With a dad in charge, it comes across more as a Patriarch forcing his daughters to continue a ritual for no real reason. Very interesting. The parents are also very different. the father is very low key, almost psychotically somber while the mother in Somos lo que hay? is frantic and hateful and violent.The Mexican version is far more interesting in its victim selection as well. It seems that it’s okay to eat a prostitute, but not a homosexual. Actually the gay guy gets away…hehehe. Just give them both a view and let me know what you think.