PLOT: A four-part anthology, telling horror stories from a female perspective, directed by four female directors.
As a concept, I appreciate XX. If you’re a female director in Hollywood not name Kathryn Bigelow, it’s a difficult ask to get consistent work; for claiming to be progressive, Hollywood still has difficulty giving women and minorities a fair shake. The execution, however, leaves a lot to be desired.
The film itself clocks in at under 90 minutes, so each of the four films move quickly and don’t take up too much of your time. The problem, though, is that most of the films don’t leave a lasting impression. The best film is probably the first one, entitled The Box which is adapted from a Jack Ketchum short story. The story revolves around a child’s fateful peek into a wrapped present and the fallout that comes from what he sees. It’s the most effective horror story, but it’s also the most frustrating. The second film (The Birthday Party) is a decent black comedy, but not a horror film. The third is a forgettable, sloppy story about campers that get possessed by ancient evil (which feels more like a scene from a bigger idea), and the fourth works well enough, but falls flat at the end.
This is pretty light on gore. If I remember correctly, the third one has some gore, but earlier I mentioned how forgettable this film is, so maybe it didn’t.
Gore Rating: 0 out of 5
The two most effective films, The Box and Her Only Living Son are probably scarier for parents, but I won’t say that they don’t achieve what they set out to do. They are interesting stories in their own right, but they lack any lasting impression.
Scare Rating: 1 out of 5
Nudity Rating: 0 out of 5
I appreciate this film’s concept, bringing together female talent behind the camera to tell specifically female stories in a horror setting. Overall, though, the stories just aren’t all that interesting. A few have their moments, and the second film entitled The Birthday Party (full title: The Birthday Party Or: The Memory Lucy Suppressed From Her Seventh Birthday That Wasn’t Really Her Mom’s Fault (Even Though Her Therapist Says It’s Probably Why She Fears Intimacy) creates well-plotted comedic tension, but I’ve seen better anthology films, most of which create a stronger impression than this one.