As it seems to have been with most of my posts, a lot of the horror films I discuss are, well, old. Most of the films I’ve discussed have been from the 70’s or earlier. Because I’m, well, old. If I discuss any newer films at all, they happen to be mine. That’s a little self serving. But isn’t that why we blog?
It’s time I shine the light on new horror. Recently, on the 4th of July, I saw what I can only describe as perfect of a movie I’ve seen. Not just as perfect a horror movie, but perfect within and beyond the genre. The Twisted Twins Production of “American Mary.”
It’s hard to exactly to describe it. Is is a revenge film? Sort of. But it is also a character study in the same vein as Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.” It is a cultural study as well, about how we define beauty or not. In many ways this is Nip/Tuck in reverse where that FX TV show explored the notion that making oneself beautiful on the outside never changed within, Mary’s clients are not looking for societal beauty or acceptance.
I’m ahead of myself. Mary, played brilliantly by Katharine Isabelle is a brilliant and promising med student who is also broke. While attempting to get work as a stripper, by coincidence of circumstance she is needed to medically assist a man who has been tortured in the strip club. Before you know it her skills are used as an underground plastic surgeon. Later she is drugged and raped by her professor and, as a form of revenge, he becomes her surgical guinea pig.
Like the great, great horror films of old like Frankenstein or King Kong, your heart literally breaks for the monster because that is where the viewers empathy ultimately lies. The Soska Sisters did this perfectly with Mary. The ending is heartbreaking. This is more than a horror film rush with typical scares. This is an amazingly told tragic tale.
And one of my all time favorite horror movies.
What the Soska Sisters