Review: “What We Become”



Title: What We Become
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Posted August 15, 2016 by

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What we become 1

There is not typically a lot of excitement, in small, suburban neighborhoods. With quiet streets, and friendly people, the average summer day usually consists of community picnics, going to the river, and, if you are a teenage boy like Gustav (Benjamin Engell), spying on the cute girl next door. So, it’s more than a little strange, when, in one afternoon, a neighbor drops dead, the news reports a virus that is spreading in your town, and soldiers wearing gas masks show up and knock on your door.

“What We Become” shows a family going through such an afternoon, and then dealing with said soldiers getting more and more violent, and the knowledge that their safety is quickly evaporating and they have a choice to make. They can either make a run for it, or they can follow orders and stay put, hoping that the military has their best interest in mind and can contain whatever threat is beyond the walls of their home. Making that call is easier said than done for Dino (Troels Lyby) and Pernille (Troels Lyby) though, and it ultimately pushes the whole family to the edge.

what we become 2How the family reacts to the stresses of being quarantined and living in fear of dangers both known (soldiers who don’t mind offing a few civilians) and unknown (the infected), is what writer/director Bo Mikkelsen chooses to spend most of his film’s 85 minutes on. And, saving the gory, gruesome stuff until the finale works to the story’s benefit, for the most part. Where “What We Become” struggles is in it’s character build up. There just isn’t enough depth to any of the family members to really, truly care about their fates. The only one who gets much to do, other than argue and look out the window in terror, is Gustav who’s quickly blossoming relationship with Sonja (Marie Hammer Boda) is the only break from the apocalyptic situation taking place.

The other issue with this film is that it uses WAY too many genre cliches to try to build tension. Every time I started thinking “This is a really unique zombie flick.”, someone would reveal a bite on their previously covered up leg, or ignore the kid that was telling them what they saw outside. Which is really a shame, because if Mikkelsen had avoided those well worn beats he would have had a terrific film. There is plenty to like about this movie as well. The acting is solid, and the cinematography from Adam Philp and the score by Martin Pedersen are both wonderful. It frustrates me, because this should’ve been a movie that I got the pleasure of recommending to my friends and family, any time zombie movies came up. Instead, “What We Become” is just decent. Good enough to give it a watch, but not good enough to make a significant mark on the genre.




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