Friday, October 6, 2017

Movie Review: XX

Conklederp and I enjoy short stories to the point that that is our go to form of story telling if we are not watching movies.  Stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Clark Ashton Smith, and Arthur Machen have been what I read at night for close to six years now before going to sleep.  We are also both big fans of the Lore podcast which is essentially a non-fiction short story about something creepy that has happened somewhere in the world.  Every so often we will put on an episode of The Twilight Zone that we may have not already seen and had we not already finished Alfred Hitchcock Presents, we would be watching that series as well; wait, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour!?

This still does not do the movie any favors, but that is really beyond the point.  
The point is, horror short stories is a medium that we both love to consume.  So the other night while perusing the new releases on Netflix, we came across a movie I had recently added to our list.  The description of XX on Netflix says that it is a ". . . four-part anthology of short horror films featur[ing] stories that include some traditional themes but all are shown from a female point of view."  The poster for the film has the tagline, "Four deadly tales by four killer women."  And if you were to read a majority of the reviews over at IMDb, you might think that this movie would constitute a pass, if only because of how the film was advertised as being female-centric.  Or because each short felt more like a pitch that was not good enough to be made into a feature length film and instead was turned into a short.  Or because a director ruined your favorite Jack Ketchum story.  For Conklederp and myself, XX was a pretty great collection of four horror shorts that surprised us in that the thumbnail up on Netflix was not very promising; see above.

Now, I could easily make this post about four times as long as it is going to be since each short film has its own writer(s), director, composer, actor, and in the case of "The Box," different production companies.  Listing each short would be too time consuming for me and this article would be in limbo for a long time as I tried to do a better job of explaining the characters, story elements, and other various aspects that I have no right to critique beyond someone who enjoys movies.

One criticism that amused me was in regards to the second short, "The Birthday Party." This person was upset that "The Birthday Party" was no so much a horror story as it was a dark comedy, which was St. Vincent's intent as she apparently is not a fan of traditional horror movies.  I thought that "The Birthday Party" worked very well on its own though,  not enough meat for an entire movie perhaps, but that is not the point of shorts.  Could these stories been better?  Maybe.  Could these shorts been better had they been directed by men as apparently a portion of the IMDb reviewers are a few words away from directly stating?  I am not even going to answer that one, silly bastards.

In short (eh!?), if watching horror stories the likes of Tales from the Dark Side, Tales from the Crypt, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, or even Goosebumps is your thing, then there is a pretty good chance that there will be at least one of the stories in XX that will entertain you.  And if not, they are short and then you are able to move on to the next one.


P.S.  The film has an 'in memory of' to Antonia Bird, the director of Ravenous.  I was sad to learn that she had passed away four years ago as I would have loved to have seen another horror movie from her.

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