The Miracle of Life (2013)
Afgelopen zomer kreeg ik tijdens mijn vakantie een leuke email. 
Hellraiser (1987)
Frank Cotton is een man op zoek naar het ultieme genot.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Sally en haar invalide broer Franklin willen de vakantie doorbrengen in het verlaten huisje van hun grootouders. 
Candyman (1992)
Laatstejaarsstudente Helen Lyle maakt samen met haar vriendin Bernadette een thesis over stadslegendes. 
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Vier tieners hebben allen afschuwelijke nachtmerries waarin dezelfde figuur centraal staat. 


American Mary - English Review (2013)

American Mary - English Review (2013)

Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Mary Mason has the potential to become a successful female surgeon.

However, the combined financial cost of her school and apartment is gruesome which leads to her other bills being left unpaid. Mary decides to look out for an 'easier' way to make money and, blessed with a pretty face and body, quickly ends up at the nearest strip joint. While she's having her job interview with owner Billy, something very bloody occurs in his basement which he wants resolved as quickly as possible. Cue Mary, whose skills with needle and thread make her the right girl at the right place. Disaster averted and Mary ends up getting a lot of money for a job well done.

After having witnessed her remarkable handiwork, Mary's name starts circulation and it doesn't take long before she's asked to venture into the world of illegal plastic surgery. An even bigger turn of events lead her into the realm of body modification. Though the combination of school and 'work' isn't easy, everything seems to play out just fine until one night when Mary is invited to a private party, organised by her professors. What will take place during that little get-together will result in the slow transformation of a cheerful and positive young girl into a genuine Bloody Mary.

American Mary is the Soska sisters second feature film. Sylvia and Jen, identical and energetic twins, released their first movie Dead Hooker in a Trunk in 2009. At that time they weren't able to fully convince me of their talent, leaving me behind with a somewhat weird feeling. However, American Mary proves they are a force to be reckoned with! Granted, there are still a couple of minor issues which can be worked on but those are no match for all the positives they have implemented in their latest film.

The Twisted Twins put the emphasis on the character and development of Mary which is played by Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps Trilogy). Her performance is nothing short of sublime and could be the reason why this flick might end up in your top 10 list of 2013! Her story arc feels familiar, written with a huge sense of realism so viewers can relate to what she is going through. Though the body modification world is a pretty unfamiliar platform for many viewers, Mary's actions and decisions aren't really questionable, they are relatable.

It's the remarkable Beatress who introduces Mary (and the viewers) to this 'weird' world when she approaches the female lead, asking to help out her best friend who wants to look just like Barbie. I use the word 'remarkable' because Beatress is the spitting image of her own idol Betty Boop. Herein lies one of the absolute strengths of American Mary: Sylvia and Jen have succeeded in introducing a moral to what may seem a bizarre aspect of beautification. Is it morally wrong or right passionately wanting to achieve a certain ideal? What triggers this wish: pure hatred for their present form or some sort of ambition? Furthermore, how does Mary react to all of this?

The types of body modification that are seen in the movie are somewhat shocking though most of the cutting happens off-screen. The female directors consciously chose this approach to highlight Mary's skills instead of going for the obvious bloodshed that happens during these procedures. Seeing a pretty girl sensually putting on some rubber gloves beats having to look at repetitive fountains of blood. Another positive is that these 'patients' aren't being portrayed as some sort of freaks. Their wishes might seem weird to the majority of us, but their way of life has been handled delicately and respectfully.

Unfortunately every movie has to end and, although I didn't know what to expect, I have to admit I was hoping for a different climax. Don't get me wrong: the ending is not bad and does not ruin the excellent build-up but can't be described as being breathtakingly exciting. It does however follow the same tone which can be felt throughout the entire runtime, only lacks a final 'uppercut' like, for instance, Excision (2012) had.

After watching American Mary it will not be surprising to find out a couple of women directed it, not that it should anyway for that matter. Not once do the Soska's go for some form of easy nudity which is quite frankly a huge relief. They know that this particular genre benefits more from some bloody fantasies and freaky imagery and they deliver just that. On a final note, though this movie was made on a very tight budget, the cinematography is stunning. Makes me wonder what these talented twins could do if they had some millions at their disposal. American Mary is must-see material!


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