Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
Appearances are everything
A young med student struggling with her tuition fees is drawn into the shady world of underground body modification.
Despite the strong reviews and festival buzz I was still rather sceptical about American Mary mainly because I loathed the Soska twins first film, Dead Hooker in a Trunk. I’m pleased to report that this is a significantly more accomplished feature; a female empowerment horror movie with a strong central performance that anchors the film. Mary is a student surgeon struggling to pay her way through school and find her place in a male driven profession. When she is given quick money for a black market operation she opens the door to the odd world of extreme body modification which she embraces after being abused by her teacher.
In its simplest terms this could be described as a rape revenge…
I'm changing specialties Dr. Grant.
Few modern horror movies have memorable protagonists or antagonists. Having both in one film is practically impossible in this day and age, but if you get just one of those it's something special. Like 2009's The Loved Ones (which is a better film), American Mary features a female lead that is not only memorable but easily surpasses everything else in the film as it's biggest strength and the main reason to watch.
Katharine Isabelle, from Ginger Snaps fame, is that female lead as Mary Mason, a medical student that finds her way into the business of extreme body modification. It's an incredibly entertaining performance and probably the best of her career. Her character…
Katharine Isabelle plays Mary Mason, a brilliant medical student aiming to become a surgeon who begins performing unorthodox surgeries of extreme body modification so she can pay the bills, although it's clear money is not the only reason why she is doing this; she enjoys it. After her trust has been shattered and thrown in the garbage can she changes into a person who would probably be best kept far away from her surgical instruments.
It's pretty tame considering torture porn standards and many would scoff at the mere association with that genre but it's the closest classification it fits under. I'm pretty fed up with the idea of contrasting disturbing images with classical music; that's how this movie starts…
1st Mistake I Made While Watching This Film: Eating
2nd Mistake: Continuing to eat.
"Ewww the opening is her seeing and cutting pale raw flesh"
*its just chicken*
*gets disgusted 10 minutes later by real gore*
Anyways, American Mary is an odd little thriller from the Soska sisters that had quite the buzz earlier this year within the horror scene. The film had an abundance of style, gross out moments, sexy characters, weird characters, WTF characters and lacked in virtually everything else....
Katharine Isabelle plays the role of Mary Mason with innocence and cute intelligence at first but as her journey into the world of underground surgery and body mutilation unfolds, she becomes increasingly detached and…
The Soska twins' viscerally unsettling, though ultimately unremarkable American Mary typifies contemporary horror cinema’s unpleasant tendencies for style over substance. What begins as a promising one woman showcase that treads in Lucky McKee-esque territory ends stumbling into an insipidly contrived version of I Spit on Your Grave complete with an anticlimactic denouement that smacks of a rush job. But if there’s anything that the Soskas have done admirably well then it’s definitely the inspired casting of indie scream queen Katherine Isabelle as the titular lead, her most memorable role since playing as feisty, sexually repressed Ginger Fitzgerald, Canadian cinema’s greatest contribution to the lycanthrope canon which spawned three outstanding modern werewolf films. Isabelle channels her inner Barbara Steele as part…
What a lovely twisted surprise.
This film got on my radar through Letterboxd and its ratings and intriguing poster landed it a spot on my watchlist and had me make sure I would read nothing about it.
And that's the way to go really as this is a film that slowly sucks you in and takes you to unexpected places. It is an interesting scrawl through the mind of someone who is slowly losing grasp of reality, and a moral compass.
What this film does right, and this is something most modern horror films should pay close attention to, is that it tries to be its own film.…
If feminazis made a horror film for Lifetime, this would be it.
Even if the plot is more than a little messy it still has some good aspects. Mary was a fairly interesting character and Katherine Isabelle was easily the best of the bunch. I may remember Mary for being simultaneously hot and creepy, but Ruby and Beatress will give me the creeps for a while. Having the directors in this actually made sense and wasn't jarring. A lot of the cast is female which is certainly different. The world of body modification was well established as well as realistic. Interesting choices can't make up for flaws in the narrative.
While the women were impressive the men couldn't be more…
The first third shows promise but it seems like the directors ran out of story halfway through. A few confusing scenes in the third half cripple an already lame film.
Good solid violence and sexy thriller. Really enjoyed this movie!
Interesting, well acted, and fairly nicely executed. While there are some warts (in the pacing department, especially), by and large this goes down quite nicely as a revenge-slash-gore movie with a modern body modification twist.
If you're the sort who finds the premise intriguing or who is looking for a unique twist on squeamish cinema, American Mary is a worthwhile view.
find a 16 year old cashier at hot topic, give them some cash and a crew, and tell them to make a movie. here you go. ridiculous.
Body horror with a medical license. The diabolical Dr. Caligari in a black leather apron and pumps. And I’m fairly certain the Soska sisters are as smitten with Katharine Isabelle as we are. Funny, stylish, and wickedly perverse, although burdened with a rudderless (and occasionally dumb) third act.
Wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one since I'm still squeamish with surgery and medical stuff, but I ended up really liking it. Katharine Isabelle is fantastic in the lead role, cold and harsh and vulnerable and powerful. Her journey is a weird and twisted one, and I was pretty into it, until the ending, which was stupid and totally out of place with the rest of the film soooo I just don't know about that.
I've always been disheartened that Katharine Isabelle never broke out in a big way. As the title character in Ginger Snaps, she provided the soul of the story as a teenaged girl recently afflicted with lycanthropy. It was a great showcase for her talents: she was genuinely funny, she could draw out great chemistry out of any of her fellow cast members, she could rein in quite well for the drama and sold the tragedy that would engulf Ginger wholesale. But outside of small roles in Freddy vs. Jason and the remake of Insomnia, Hollywood didn't really seem all that interested in taking her career to the next level.
American Mary feels like a fairly deliberate stab at another big…
A brilliant Katharine Isabelle in a very good, stylish and unique horror movie.
The climax seems a bit rushed and it could have used a better build up, but that can be forgiven when the rest of the movie is this good and entertaining.
- 13 Sins
- 100 Bloody Acres
- The ABCs of Death
- Night of the Living Dead
- Night of the Living Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Day of the Dead
Horror movies are by far my favorite, so I've decided to make a list with all of them I remember…
- 20 Fingers
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
- Almayer's Folly
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
- Border Radio
A list of films directed by women, in alphabetical order by director. The notes show the director's country, name and…