American Mary Review FrightFest 2012

Horror films are typified by being produced, written and directed by males and for the most part play to a majority male audience.

It’s therefore refreshing when a horror film comes along where the root idea and execution is driven by females; we see a different perspective.

Note that by “different” I don’t mean “less violent”, ladies can go just as dark as men in the field of horror.

American Mary charts the progression of events that lead Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) from aspiring surgical student to lucrative alleyway body modification specialist.

If that sounds too heavy, it shouldn’t. The horror in the film is balanced with a wry sense of humour delivered with expert comedy timing from Isabelle and deftly directed mixing both subtle and graphic visuals.

My problem with the film is that while it delivers scares and laughs, the journey that Mary goes on is emotionally shallow. Her transformation from cash-strapped student to hard-nosed “look out for number one” surgeon happens a bit to quickly. At points in the film where she exacts revenge, little consideration is giving to the consequences of her actions or of the lifestyle she has chosen.

The last fifteen to twenty minutes of the film highlight this as it rushes to conclude the plot, but not the story of the film.

Had this been a story about how Mary was able to physically alter others but not herself emotionally, it would have elevated the film from good to great.

posted by admin at 7:51 pm  

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