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HORROR FILM REVIEW:AMERICAN MARY (2012)

Directed by the talented young Soska sisters, this is their first real movie with a good budget and strong cast and script. The main character of Mary is played by cult horror fave Katharine Isabelle (star of the very original and clever Ginger Snaps werewolf trilogy a few years ago) who is steadily failing her medical studies at college. Running out of money and increasingly desperate, one night she finds herself in a situation which offers a large amount of cash with a sudden grizzly task to consider. She steps in and earns to money, and the next day, a very strange woman calls on her for more unusual surgical help…

After the wild and fun low budget dark slasher debut film, the Soska twins here direct a much more sophisticated, focused and very well crafted dark tale. Mary enters into the world of body modification, becoming a much sought after savior to many, while police start to look for a killer and her fascination with extreme surgery continues to dangerous conclusions…

It was a brave and bold move for the directors to decide to put on screen the world of body modification, and with skill they do not show people of this sub-culture as freaks but as individual real people, while the film moves along as a tense, interesting and disturbing dark bloody thriller. It does bring to mind eventually the atmosphere and some sequences of recent ‘torture porn’ horror like Hostel and Human Centipede, which largely I do not find to be great films at all. Thankfully this movie, also has well written characters and an interesting plot, with Mary being a desperate, lost young woman,but whom is also strong and manipulative at times.

The scenes of her delicate yet gruesome work and bloody art, remind me of Cronenberg movies like Dead Ringers or Crash with their quiet yet deadly tense scenes of intimate dangers and eroticism. This is a fascinating and strong film, more than simple horror, intelligent and challenging while chilling and dark.

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About JAMES E PARSONS

Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

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