XX is comprised of a series of vignettes (all helmed by female filmmakers). Each segment tell stories in which women take center stage. Three of the four stories involve motherhood.
The talent behind the camera on this anthology effort includes Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound), Jovanka Vuckovic, and recording artist St. Vincent. At one time or another, Jen and Sylvia Soska, Jennifer Lynch, and Mary Harron were all also reportedly attached.
Aside from budgetary and time restrictions, the creators of each segment in the anthology were given full creative control to make a horror short. With that knowledge, it’s interesting to see such a cohesive finished product. Although each segment has its own unique flavor, there is a consistency among all of the shorts.
I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite of the bunch. I thoroughly enjoyed each segment and was intrigued by different aspects of each.
I really liked Jovanka Vuckovic’s ‘The Box’. It was intriguing, for the very reason that it didn’t give much away. So much was left up to the viewer’s imagination but that was part of what made it so enjoyable to watch. The unknown is almost always much scarier than that with which we are familiar. And this was no exception.
St. Vincent’s ‘The Birthday Cake’ was equal parts black comedy and pure horror. And in the end, the mixture worked together very well. Like ‘The Box’, it left me with more questions than answers. But that’s large part of why I enjoyed it so much.
Roxanne Benjamin’s ‘Don’t Fall’ was more familiar in tone and theme than ‘The Birthday Cake’ or ‘The Box’ but I still rather enjoyed it. ‘Don’t Fall’ was easily the most intense of the four segments for me. While it takes a more typical ‘monster in the woods’ approach, it does so remarkably effectively.
The final segment, Karyn Kusama’s ‘Her Only Living Son’ also explored more familiar themes than ‘The Box’ or ‘The Birthday Cake’ but it was nonetheless unpredictable and kept me intrigued throughout.
I enjoyed each segment enough that I would be interested to see any one of them adapted as a feature length effort. Each vignette left me wanting more and I found myself looking for answers that couldn’t possibly have been provided in the time allotted.
The home video release includes a variety of behind-the-scenes featurettes, director interviews, and much more.
If you have not yet seen XX, I would highly recommend giving it a look at your very earliest convenience. You can check it out on home video now!
WICKED RATING: 7/10
Director(s): Karyn Kusama, Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic, and St. Vincent
Writer(s): Karyn Kusama, Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic, and St. Vincent
Stars: Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool, Christina Kirk
Release: May 23, 2017 (Home Video0
Studio/ Production Co: Magnet Releasing