Hello there, fiends and gravediggers. Stephanie here, your Raven Maiden, giving you a weekly suggestion of spine-tinglers to catch on your favorite streaming sites for the whole month of October!
Available On: Netflix
Created by the Soska sisters, otherwise known as the “Twisted Twins,” this movie follows Mary Mason, a medical student growing increasingly jaded by the surgery world and those she once idolized that populate it. Drowning in debt she turns to the dark world of underground surgery, where she learns appearances really are everything.
“American Mary” was released in Canada in 2012, with a more widespread release to VOD in 2013. Katherine Isabelle plays Mary. With her enigmatic demeanor and sharp tongue Isabelle drives this film with a dry, sardonic delivery. Fueled on pitch black humor and slow-burning tension, it makes for an overall intriguing storyline. Although the performances are sometimes uneven, Isabelle keeps it grounded and successfully keeps the movie on track.
Jen and Sylvia Soska are the creators of “American Mary,” and are quickly rising stars in the horror world. Not only have they been fans of horror since childhood, but the fact that they are women makes them stand out in the horror/thriller community. They are staunch supporters of Women in Horror month, which takes place in February, and create a new PSA every year in that month for blood donation. Along with scary movies they are loud advocates of the LGBTQ community, and are lovers of comics and other nerdy interests, including professional wrestling.
Their first film, “Dead Hooker In A Trunk,” was a final project in film school that had a budget of $2500. As they were shopping that film around, they began work on “American Mary,” and have gone on to directing a segment for “ABC’s of Death 2,” “See No Evil 2” featuring WWE star Kane, and are currently working on their next film, “Vendetta,” which is currently slated for 2015. They are also directing a segment for the upcoming “XX” all-female directed horror anthology.
Although “Mary’s” ending has the feeling of being a bit rushed, the movie itself is something I highly recommend due to its in-depth look at body modification. With the film being set in the world of black market surgery, it really questions what is the line that is crossed with body modification, or if there is a line to cross at all. What is the limit for personal happiness? Just because a person does not understand another’s desires in this world does not mean that it should be judged. Although it easy to categorize body modification as something unhealthy at times, in the end it is the individual’s choice, not someone else’s. We live in an exciting time, where people have vast options to express themselves. Whether it be football jerseys or horn implants is really no one’s busy but their own.
“NAILS IN THE COFFIN: 7/10
As for the hack and slash scale, it’s got gore to spare but is always within the realm of reality and necessity with the storytelling. That combined with the warped sense of humor makes it altogether fun and somewhat enlightening for a horror movie. You aren’t going to discover the meaning of life, but you will get a glimpse into a world that hasn’t been terribly utilized yet in the genre, and gives you quite a bit of hope for the future of the horror landscape.”