The set design and cinematography are certainly more artfully composed than in your average knockoff, and director Jim Mickle has assembled a potent cast, including Hal Hartley regular Bill Sage and some bright new talent in the form of Ambyr Childers from "The Master" and Julia Garner from "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (whose gothic ivory looks are likely to ensure a future role in a Tim Burton film).

The story involves a reclusive, religiously twisted family in rural New England. It takes only one look at the glowering, severe face of patriarch Frank Parker (Sage) or the cautious, spooked attitude of his daughters, Iris and Rose (Childers, Garner), to know that dark secrets lie in store — probably in the basement, under that carefully concealed and bolted trapdoor.

The film is stronger at creating a Poe-ish sort of mood than making sense, and the frights are dropped in pretty predictably, but the finale is stupendously stomach-churning.

We Are What We Are (Niku)
DirectorJim Mickle
OpensOpens May 10, 2014