Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: American Mary

Mary Mason (Katherine Isabelle) is a medical student, struggling to make ends meet. When her mobile phone is cut off, she takes the desperate action of looking for work at strip clubs. Entering the seedy world of back-room massage, she meets with the shady Billy (Antonio Cupa), who comes up with an emergency at the very point she demonstrates her massage skills. Mary is thrust into an opportunity to fix her problems, fix up a badly beaten man and Billy will give her $5000. What she believes to be a one off is just the starting point Mary, as she soon becomes the hottest property for off the record medical processes. This road however, is not paved with gold, only blood. 

 I had absolutely no expectations of American Mary; I made the cautious decision to not even bother reading the synopsis of the movie before attending the UK premier as part of the Film 4 Frightfest. What I never expected, in any way, shape or form is to have the movie literally blow me out of the water.

Directed by the self named Twisted Twins, The Soska Sisters Jen and Sylvia, are relatively new faces in the horror genre market, in 2009 they created the movie Dead Hooker In A Trunk, the movie was equally raved about, and hated, but one things was for sure this ultra-talented twin sisters made their mark on the cinema.

American Mary is a blinding movie that while being a very basic tale, and in some ways a little predictable, manages to really draw the viewer in by throwing the elements of weirdness, depravity, and romance into the Frey. You do kid of think early on, that the story is going in a certain direction, but you are very quickly put straight, and the story almost shifts to a different place, a place that gives you a much needed surprise.

Ginger Snaps star Katherine Isabelle, gives the movie some real power. Her transformation of downtrodden but confident student, to awesome and deadly woman is a journey that many actresses would have difficulty pulling off. Isabelle not only delivers the role, she makes the audience love her from very early on. You relate in some way to the character, and want only the best for her, as she moves from the hero to the villain role, you still support her.

There have been few movies this year that have really impressed me, but American Mary is one of those few. The Soska Sisters have delivered an accomplished piece of art that is way advanced of their years, for their fairly limited time in the industry, they have shown that they have much to give the movie audience, and only good things can come for these genius filmmakers.

Spencer Hawken
Views From The Edge

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