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American Mary was a very unconventional story about a girl attending
medical school who gets mixed up in a dark world of bizarre surgeries.
What makes this movie so different from other films about a sweet girl
that goes to the dark side is that Katharine Isabelle is so damn good
as Mary Mason. Hear acting chops are incredibly strong and she makes
the movie extremely entertaining. There is something very cool about a
chick in stilettos and a black nurses apron cutting up willing
participants. My only complaint is that I wanted to see a little bit
more of Mary's revenge and maybe a different ending. The ending didn't
feel very satisfying in my opinion. But overall, American Mary is a
very sexy dark ride.
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Have you really seen my summary. Well, then you will get the link I
guess. Katharine Isabelle (Mary) does deliver again an excellent
performance. She looks believable, she delivers the creeps and she
sometimes really looks sexy although she never undress but is walking
around as a beauty queen and has one strip performance and again
doesn't reveal anything but some will need their Kleenex.
I was a bit afraid to go watch it because it's directed by the Soska sisters and I wasn't positive about their first attempt Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009). But what an improvement they made here. Excellent edited and directed with a good score. But that doesn't always make a good movie. There will be people who will hate it again because it's very slow and very into the character of Mary. Oh yes, she does nasty things but the horror isn't the main thing here. It's Mary you will follow. A girl not popular and not having a boy friend who needs the money. By accident she's been contacted by a weird looking girl Beatress Johnson (Tristan Risk) to help a friend to remove her nipples and stitches up her vagina. From there on her life becomes a mess after being raped by her teacher. She makes friends in the strip bar and underworld and is out to hunt and disfigure people (who wants it and does who are tortured).
You will indeed see some weird people towards this flick, people with scarification of all kind. Split tongues, you name it, you will see it. The red stuff do flows a few times but it's really Katharine who makes this flick what it became. I could watch it as for what it is but it's typical Soska style and still not for everybody. Some did mention Freaks (1932), to some point yes, their area weirdos to spot, some did mention Human Centipede (2009), that I wont agree, in some parts yes, the transforming of bodies.
What it does show is that girls can gave weird things going on too. And for the Soska's , they are twisted sisters.
Gore 1,5/5 Nudity 1/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
Mary is a promising medical student who has a traumatic encounter with a surgeon who is her professor. Things turn bloody when after a few surgical body modifications to earn money, Mary seeks revenge on her attacker. The sadism is pretty stomach turning, and the film uses Schubert's Ave Maria once and Bach's version twice before it is over, a very strange choice of music, indeed. The premise is interesting and Katharine Isabelle is compelling in the lead. The patients seeking bizarre physical alterations is fairly disgusting. Jen and Sylvia Soska are the directors, and judging by this work, they are seriously disturbed women. The movie is extremely dark and it kept me interested to the last scene which was a bit disappointing. As a thriller, it is slightly above average, and a 6/10.
My streak of watching awful/mediocre movies is over! Thank you Soska
Twins for making American Mary and ending this streak. This is the best
horror of the year, so far, and I'm sure will be in my top 5 horror
films for 2013. American Mary is the story of Mary Mason, a medical
student, that needs some quick cash and discovers the world of body
modification. That's all of the plot that I'm going to give away, sorry
for being stingy but it's for your own good. American Mary does so many
things right, no it's not perfect, but when you've watched as much
garbage as I have lately you'll look past some little stuff. It's shot
very well, especially the tracking shots. I'm obviously not a film
student or film maker but I think it's a good looking movie with some
nice, thought out shots. The gore is very well done, which is a must
for a horror film. There's nothing that takes me out of a movie quicker
than bad CG, especially CG blood, the CG looks to be kept to a minimum
and the film is better for it. Like I said, the gore is very well done
but this movie does a great job of implying gore as well. It's very
easy to just show whats happening but leaving it up to the viewer to
determine what's going on leads to a much richer experience. American
Mary also has a bit of humor to it, at least I thought so, but maybe
I'm a little messed up. The humor is very dark though, kind of like
Excision, and it just added to my enjoyment of this movie. The acting
isn't the biggest strength of this movie, it's not SyFy movie bad, but
the lead (Katharine Isabelle) does a really great job. She's a genre
veteran, Ginger Snaps & Freddy vs Jason, and very likable for the most
part. Beatress is another character that I liked, she was a ton of fun
and her makeup looked great (I hope it was makeup). One complaint
though about the Soska Twins, they should never and I mean never act
again. It really is that bad, I'm not exaggerating.
American Mary is a fantastic movie, it does so much well and is a must see for horror fans. This will be one of favorites of the year and I think has some re-watchability. This is first movie I've seen from the Soska Twins, but after watching this I'm definitely a fan. These two are part of the future of horror and the future looks pretty good.
This is a film that has all the makings of a cult horror movie, and my
god does it pack a punch. Gutsy, gory and gloriously unique, American
Mary is a film that has propelled itself into the top ranks of my
favourite horror movies. To say that this stylish, innovative and
riveting piece is only the Soska sister's second directorial work is
astounding. I was blown away by the storyline and by how beautiful the
cinematography was, directed with such style and perfection, but with
no fear of dark, gritty shots of blood and gore, everything about this
film was incredible.
We are taken on a journey following Mary, a talented med school student, who comes to realise that the world she is entering is not what she thought it was. I do not need to tell you the details of the story, indeed this film will be more of a pleasure to you if you avoid reading details and just see it.
There are some scenes that are amazingly creepy, and the Soska's show they can ramp up the tension and bizarre factor in both subtle and glaring ways, and both are just as effective. It is disturbing and shocking, but delightful for being so. The surgery scenes are so well shot that it's impossible to look away, and they did such a good job of making me feel so deeply for Mary that when things begin to happen to and around her, I felt as brutalised as she did. This super-effective characterisation is in part down to fantastic writing, and of course down to the sensational performance that Katharine Isabelle delivers here. She carries much of the film on her own and is simply incredible. A thoroughly solid performance, she brings Mary to life as someone we equally feel for and fear, which is no easy task. She makes Mary personable yet brilliantly insane, in a haunting, creepy and oh so sexy performance. For me this is the stand out performance of the last few years, indeed Katherine Isabelle brings here one of the most impressive solo performances I've ever come across in horror.
The Soska sister's cameo in American Mary brought about one of the creepiest sections, filled with the bizarre and I loved it.
This is such a unique film, people are labelling it 'body-horror', and I can understand that, but for me it transcends the labels any one sub- genre can impose on it. It is sadistic, bloody and psychological, with some bizarre and gloriously disturbed scenes, and also provides moments of tension and sadness. It is an amalgam of a lot of great things in horror, and it works wonderfully.
I cannot recommend this film enough. You have to see it. I have no doubt in my mind that Jen and Sylvia Soska are going to go on to become legends in our genre. I adore that some of the most creative, impressive work in a long time has come from female directors; we need more of them and I, for one, am damn happy that the Soskas are here. I think they're going to be here to stay.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Plot: Mary Mason, a medical student studying to become a surgeon, gets
into some shady business when she applies for a job to get some extra
cash. The young student is quickly thrown into a world of body
modification, and she is becoming the go-to person for the most extreme
Our thoughts: I might be in a minority of reviewers: I never watched or wanted to watch "Dead Hooker in a Trunk". It should've interested me, but it never did. It happens with certain titles, and this was one of them. It certainly didn't help that my partner on the website reviewed that one, which means I didn't even have a "professional" (hah!) reason to watch it. I haven't had much interest in the Soska sisters, and that's nothing personal, but when Katharine Isabelle got attached to "American Mary" I'll admit to being interested. As a huge fan of the "Ginger Snaps" trilogy, why wouldn't I be?
"American Mary" (it could be called "Canadian Mary", since Katharine is Canadian and so is the movie, but let's not be silly now!) tells the story of Mary Mason. She's a medical student who hopes to become surgeon one day. Hell, she's far along too, and quite a good student to boot. If you ignore her attitude, of course. She's more skilled than the majority of her class. But being a student of any kind means you're probably broke, just like Mary is. Her desperation leads her to apply for a job as a stripper, but the job interview takes a weird turn when someone associated with the club is in need of surgery - quick. Mary's dragged in and she has to perform surgery on this really messed up man. It's quite the job for a medical student to do, but she does it. And it changes her. People hear about what she did, and she gets contacted by people that are into extreme body modifications such as trying to look like a doll or Betty Boop. Mary soon throws away her ambitions to become a typical surgeon, and becomes a popular name in the underground world of body modifications.
What is the rise and the fall of a movie like "American Mary"? The rise for me most definitely is that Katharine Isabelle plays the lead role. She's a really likable actor, and it's hard not to want to watch a horror movie with her in it. Another rise (you know I mean "positive thing", right?) is that the storyline is quite to the point and easy to get into. Also the effects are quite good.
Let's look at the negative things of "American Mary", which are often much stronger than the positive things. Most importantly is that I find little-to-no character development in our lead character. Even though Katharine Isabelle is likable, her character is not. And her character remains equally unlikable from start to finish. It would be understandable if a nice girl (nice girls can be strong too) becomes hardened and "bitchy" through-out the things that happen in the movie, but Mary starts with bitchy attitude and ends with bitchy attitude. There are just a few scenes that show anything beside that in her, and that's a real shame.
Katharine Isabelle is still the better actor in the movie, hands down, and I don't mind watching her even if she's not likable. Several actors are less than fantastic, and sadly that can be said about our director duo too. The moment the two of them enter the movie it becomes rather silly with their German accents. The kind of focus that is put on the two characters makes you think that they would be a big part of the story down the line, but they aren't. It's understandable if directors put themselves or people they know in movies, but I don't know what the reason for this kind of attention to two characters is if they are not gonna be important. No surprise, perhaps, that they decided to make their characters the most odd ones in the movie - if you could choose your own role in a film, I'm sure you'd want something that stands out too. But Jen, Sylvia, you should probably rethink putting you in too much focus just because you are in the movie.
"American Mary" lacks a lot of things that would draw me into the movie. But it works as a rather shallow horror movie about body modification. It has several scenes that are underwhelming in both emotion and artistic decisions, characters that you don't develop, failed attempts at shock. Let's be honest - in 2013 it takes quite a lot to come off as shocking, and you either have to really show the most despicable things imaginable, or have us so invested in our character that it hurts us when they are hurt. "American Mary" is a few hundred miles away from that. I don't think it's a terrible watch, and some parts of it are quite alright so it definitely works as weekend entertainment.
More reviews at FilmBizarro.com
American Mary is the latest and second feature film to be released by
the beautiful Jen and Sylvia Soska, the Twisted Twin's who brought us
Dead Hooker In The Trunk in 2009. Now I admit that I almost missed this
movie since I've never really understood the whole body modification
fascination, but decided to give it a go anyways since a great Horror
movie can be about anything, even something i don't really understand.
And I'm glad I did check this movie out, It 's more then just that it's
an insanely enjoyable hour and a half, I was sitting on the edge of my
couch the whole time just staring at the TV i couldn't turn away i had
to find out what was gonna happen next, my phone rang i ignored it haha
nothing was gonna stop me from watching even for a second. It had it
all Torture, Strong Violent Content, Disturbing Images, Sexual Content,
Nudity,Blood all the perfect ingredient's needed to make a great horror
Mary Mason is played by Katharine Isabelle who was PERFECT for both her acting in the film and the part, i don't think i could picture anyone else playing the part of Mary Mason now, it just wouldn't be the same. I'm looking forward to seeing what The Soska Sisters come up with next! I recommend to everyone reading this to watch this movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Over-all, I'd say watch it if you're up for a nice revenge story with a
'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' edge to it.
I don't know anything about the directors, so I can't say if they improved or not. But for this movie and how it went, they pulled it off smoothly enough.
Being a guy into movies like SAW and Final Destination, I would have liked to see the gore, and not because I'm a twisted freak, but because if you're gonna make a movie about cutting people open, in the worst of ways, then you should start with the mind and then go for the stomach... It seems like they got the first half right, and perhaps and I mean 'maybe' they wanted to keep the gore out... but again, this is a movie about chopping people up ... so it felt as if though they danced around a very fine line and managed to do just enough to tell the story without getting into it.
It made me feel as if though it were actually tailored for women. Which is fine. Guys have SAW, Girls get American Mary. Deal. (If your a guy) Just don't expect a slasher of film.
But don't take that in a sexist way, the opposite really, I thoroughly enjoyed this lead character and her journey to the dark side. Refreshingly delicious, and my kinda girl all the way. My only real gripe is the dialog which was a bit on the weak side and the lack of 'adventure' when it came to the 'body mods.' Other than that, it was okay.
Also, she could have done without the odd relationship with the club owner, which seemed forced at every interaction.
I'd imagine this to be a movie to watch with the wife/girlfriend to sort of please her appetite for horror (without actually spoiling her appetite :P ) (So, in that respect, very well done.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mary becomes increasingly poor, and disenchanted with the surgical
world she once admired.
The allure of easy money sends Mary into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her......... than on her so called freakish clients......
The Soska twins/sisters/whatever, try and give us a movie that will shock and make us think, but look underneath all the freakish abnormalities and the parlour tricks, it's basically another 'all men are b***ards' and girl power is forever.
And this is why the movie fails on many levels. Its not the casts fault, Isabelle is a wonderful screen presence, and next to Danielle Harris, she is the second best female working in horror today.
It all has a retro punk nineties feel to it, almost like Hardware or even The Crow, and this gives the film a little seedy feel to it.
It's a gory film, and the men are portrayed as pigs with no brains, but the most disturbing thing I found to be was the Betty Boop faced 'associate', and this was a work of genius, probably the best factor of the film.
If you have just finished with your boyfriend, and hate men at the moment, you will probably love this, if not, it's nothing really new, apart from some good make up and a great performance from Isabelle.
A little offensive, not all males are pigs..
Female directors are rare. Female horror directors even rarer. Female
twin sister directors who do horror movies? Well we found one pair and
the movie I had the pleasure to watch was really good. The idea as it
is might not be original (especially if you follow the media, there are
some cases of this beauty craze in Russia and other countries), but it
does fit fine into this story.
Plus we have a great female lead. You might feel that her drive is slowed down at one point mid-through the film, but that would mean you're missing the point. It's more character driven than story driven. And it works that way. Social commentary and other things included of course. Watch it if you can
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