Women In Horror Month Special: “XX”

Kick-starting Women In Horror Month, I thought it was a great idea to talk about XX. This women-driven anthology displays the powerful roles women have in horror. I’ve said this many times; but it is astounding how women in horror have elevated today. In the earlier decades, horror was strictly a man-driven industry.

Men held the dominant roles in films. Men held the dominant positions behind the scenes. Men held the director’s chair. While women were often portrayed as the damsels in distress. Women held the victim roles. They were the ones depicted as vulnerable and “easy” in films. The targets of the male psychos, criminals, and serial killers were (more often than not) women.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Charles B. Pierce

XX is an anthology that features four dark tales circulating themes of supernatural, cannibalism, demons, and insanity.

The Box is directed by Jovanka Vukovic. Inspired by the story by Jack Ketchum.

During a ride home on the train, Danny (Peter DaChuna) discovers a man carrying a mysterious box. After glancing inside it, strange things begin to happen to Danny, stemming from a peculiar loss of appetite. This weird “illness” soon transitions to the rest of the family like a contagious virus.

Jovanka delivers this powerful film through a subtle calmness that slowly unravel to a bombshell revelation. Even though some mystery still lingers, the story is enough to satisfy.

I always say some things are better left unknown because (in some cases) there is power in the unknown. It provides uncertainty, and forces the audience to challenge their imagination and dig deeper inside the box of possibilities.

The Box, Jovanka Vukovic

The Birthday Party is directed by Annie Clark. The story by Roxanne Benjamin.

Mary (Melanie Lynskey) discovers her husband, David, is dead. She tries to keep herself together while preparing a birthday party for her daughter.

Annie and Roxanne delivers this creepy, yet oddly entertaining balance of harmony and chaos. Mary is trying not to lose her mind while carrying this devastating secret that she has, with no time to come up with a game plan. All of this unfolds through a powerful musical score that displays all of the varying emotions of the story from perspective.

The Birthday Party, Annie Clark and Roxanne Benjamin

Don’t Fall is directed and written by Roxanne Benjamin.

A group of friends exploring a mountainous area, discovers a mysterious drawing that hints at something demonic or satanic. Shortly after, weird things begin to happen, heading to a startling discovery.

Roxanne delivers this creepy film that first travels the supernatural, and then transitions to a hair-raising creature-feature. The creature practical effects are innovative and aspires to be its own creation. To top it all off, a woman (Angela Trimbur) portrays the creature, and she does does it ferociously. How cool is that?

Don’t Fall, Roxanne Benjamin

Her Only Living Son is directed and written by Karyn Kusama.

Cora (Christina Kirk) notices her son displaying rebellious behavior nearing his 18th birthday, leading to more startling discoveries and a battle that she tried desperately to keep him from.

Karyn delivers this dark and powerful story about a young man’s transformation as he reaches his young adult years and everything comes to a peak. Cora portrays spectacular talent that’s worthy of a standing ovation as she submerges deep, head-first, into the role of the mother who will do anything to protect her son, by any means necessary. This story is so powerful and riveting with an explosive ending.

Her Only Living Son, Karyn Kusama

Interweaving through the feature tales is a dark, whimsical interlude, where things are far stranger than they appear. This adds to the mystique and intrigue that surrounds the tales. XX is an all-around entertaining cinematic experience that leaves the audience reaping in it’s suspense.

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