19 January 2013 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

American Mary; The Sweeney; Lay the Favourite; The Possession

According to David Cronenberg's epochal Videodrome, there's nothing more dangerous than "a philosophy", an adage that applies to life in general and horror cinema in particular. Stepping up a gear from their altogether more generic feature debut Dead Hooker in a Trunk, the "twisted sisters" Jen and Sylvia Soska hit their stride with American Mary (2012 Universal, 18), a film that, despite its tight production constraints, wields its ideas like weapons and packs more of a punch than many of its more bloated competitors.

Centring on a young surgeon (Ginger Snaps star Katharine Isabelle) who turns the tables on her abusive professional elders through amateur experiments with a scalpel, this wincingly bloody satire delves deep into the fringe world of body modification, becoming a sadomasochistic companion piece to Crash with real underground bite. Adhering to the Roger Corman principles of exploitation cinema »

- Mark Kermode

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