Much hyped horror anthology "XX" comes to UK DVD this month, proudly proclaiming to be the first of its kind in featuring 4 terrifying tales from 4 female directors. But is it any good? Read on…
The first story, "The Box" by Jovanka Vuckovic, revolves around an ordinary family who are on the Tube train heading home, when the young son asks the old man sitting next to him, what’s inside the box he’s holding.
After letting him look inside, the young lad subsequently stops eating, claiming he no longer has any appetite. The Doctors can find nothing wrong, but what is more mysterious, is when he tells other people what he saw they stop eating too…
An interesting premise, but was felt let down by the unsatisfying conclusion, which was not helped by the fact this segment appeared to have 2 different endings (one of which was apparently a false ending/dream sequence) which made things a bit confusing.
The second tale, “The Birthday Party” by Annie Clark is a change of pace from the previous segment, being a comedy about a mother who’s attempts to provide an awesome birthday party for her 8 year old daughter are scuppered when the father commits suicide and the extraordinary lengths she goes to, to conceal his death until after the party.
Again, a promising idea, but the humour just seemed a little ‘off’ and I just didn’t find it all that funny, though the captions at the end did prove rather amusing.
The third segment, Roxanne Benjamin’s “Don’t Fall”, is your straight up “Teens in peril” slasher/monster movie. In which a group of youths exploring the great outdoors in their campervan, find themselves being stalked by something rather nasty from Indian folklore.
This was arguably my favourite of the segments, though to be fair was very formulaic and derivative of other films of its ilk.
The Final sequence, “Her Only Living Son” by Karyn Kusuma (The Invitation) revolves around a single mother, who’s rebellious teen son is really getting out of hand and turns out to be, quite literally, the spawn of satan.
But what starts as a dark and disturbing tale, is let down by its (in my view) unsatisfactory ending.
The 4 tales are linked together by a series of stop motion animated sequences about a dolls house with 4 legs and a face, wandering round some creepy old house. The point of which is never made.
The DVD contains the following extras …
Behind the scenes (3:30) – A short segment in which the directors discuss the idea behind making this anthology
Interview with Directors Karyn Kusama and Jovanka Vuckovic (7:18) – The 2 directors discuss the making of their films
Interview with Directors Roxanne Benjamin and Jovank Annie Clark (4:50) – The other half of the directing quartet discuss their segments.
Interview with Sofia Carrilo (6:30) – The animator behind the stop-motion sequences discusses the idea behind them.
Theatrical trailer – lastly the films trailer is included.
To summarise, despite all the hype and what looked like a promising trailer, I was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed by this. It passed 90mins relatively well, but was otherwise fairly unremarkable. Several of my friends however have viewed it more favourably, so maybe I was just in the wrong mood when I viewed it or something.
Anyway, the film, is released to UK DVD 8th May from Soda Pictures.
View the trailer on YouTube
Buy the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk