Monday, 28 January 2013

American Mary (2012)

Directed by: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

Written by: Sylvia Soska, Jen Soska

Stars: Katherine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska.

Release: DVD (UK) January 21 2013

The new film from Canadian twins Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk) is a beautiful, engrossing, disturbing journey that I honestly cannot wait to go on once again.

American Mary focuses on medical student Mary Mason (a masterful performance from Ginger Snaps Katherine Isabelle) who becomes disillusioned with her studies and has fallen on rough times financially. A chance meeting with a night club owner leads Mary to perform life saving surgery for a good pay off and it is from here that her dark journey truly begins.

Soon Mary finds herself in the underground world of body modification, performing complex procedures on a range of clientele desperate to change their appearance for various reasons. Mary becomes more and more well known and renowned amongst those seeking such extreme surgery to the point that she earns herself her very own moniker: Bloody Mary. In conjunction to this unfolding action Mary suffers a hideous attack perpetrated by a man she trusted leaving her with a broken spirit and a grisly desire for revenge. With her new found skills, Mary takes a very dark path in ensuring the wrongs committed against her are put right - with horrific results.

First thing I have to say is that American Mary is SO much more than your average horror film. The Soska sisters have crafted a very dark film with rays of light thanks to its clever streak of dark comedy. The film also works as an emotional drama, particularly due to some of the key characters you become so invested in and fascinated by. One of these in particular is Tristan Risks excellently eerie portrayal of Beatress, a sweet and perky lady who has all but transformed herself into her idol, Betty Boop. Tristan plays Beatress with an endearing level of kindness and innocence and although you may find her appearance a bit unsettling you really can't help but fall in love with her. As mentioned, Katherine Isabelle delivers an incredible performance as Mary Mason. Here is a truly captivating young lady, a mixture of dark and light which means you are in awe of her, even when she is doing something unbelievably bad. It's so great to see Katherine back on the horror scene and in such a huge way - she deserves the recognition and I hope she sticks around!

The film is actually fairly light on gore despite its grisly premise. This is no criticism or even a bad thing - the film shows enough and knows exactly when to allow the viewers minds join the remaining dots. I think the film works far better for this as it could have easily been outright gratitous when there was no need to be.

One small critcism of the film is that I really wanted it to end differently. I felt that the film has such a great build up, that there was far more directions for the film to go in and also the potential to follow the film up with another outing perhaps. While I will say that the ending was suitably tense, I just wish it was slightly different...I shall digress now as I dont want to spoil anything for readers.

One final plus point is that I must say how Jen and Sylvia Soska have come absoute leaps and bounds following Dead Hooker in a Trunk.I really enjoyed DHIAT, which was a bizarre mix of comedy, action and a nice dollop of gore. It was also extremly well made despite  wearing its indie heart well and truly on its sleeve. American Mary however is a far slicker, polished affair and should really be playing for the next few months at all UK cinemas if there was any justice. Still, us lucky Brits are able to grab a copy of the film NOW as it has just released on DVD, so I strongly urge you to grab a copy pronto.

A great great film clearly made with passion, heart....and a sick sense of humor of course!

Oh....and look out for Jen and Sylvia in an awesome little cameo.... :)

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