Sunday, July 16, 2017


The buzzed-about new horror anthology film "XX" recently made its way to Netflix, and I jumped at the chance to finally see it. Like pretty much all anthologies, it's uneven, but unlike "Holidays," it isn't wildly, maddeningly inconsistent. It's closer to "Southbound" (but not as memorable) and "V/H/S" (but not as scary). Creepiest: "The Box," which will surely join the new (non-horror) Marti Noxon film "To the Bone" as part of some film studies course on disordered eating and body image in cinema. Most compelling overall: "Her Only Living Son," which melds a feminist take on single motherhood with the "Something's terribly wrong with Billy" horror subgenre (see also: "Joshua," "The Omen," etc.).

Not every film in the set packs a wallop, but all show signs of having been made thoughtfully, which is more than one can claim about, say, Kevin Smith's awful contribution to the aforementioned "Holidays." As all the hype assured us it would, "XX" does showcase some talented/promising female writer/directors in the genre. I was especially pleased to see work by Karyn Kusama, who directed both the excellent "The Invitation" and the unfairly panned "Jennifer's Body." It also leaves out a few notables who might be a great fit for "XX2," including Leigh Janiak ("Honeymoon"), Sarah Adina Smith ("The Midnight Swim"), and Jennifer Kent ("The Babadook").

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