Segment 1: The Box
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Writer: Jovanka Vuckovic
Based on: Jack Ketchum‘s short story
Cast: Natalie Brown, Jonathan Watton, Peter DaCunha, Peyton Kennedy
Segment 2: The Birthday Party
Director: St. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin, St. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Seth Duhame, Sanai Victoria, Sheila Vand, Lindsay Burdge
Segment 3: Don’t Fall
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin
Cast: Casey Adams, Breeda Wool, Angela Trimbur, Morgan Krantz
Segment 4: Her Only Living Son
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Christina Kirk, Kyle Allen, Mike Doyle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 4.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]
XX is a strong and very entertaining anthology film that I enjoyed a lot. I particularly loved the animated transition sequences between the segments by Sofia Carrillo that turned into its own small story in the end.
But of course, there was also much to like about the actual segments of the film – I talk about each individually after the jump.
Danny (Peter DaCunha) is out with his family when they see a rather strange man (Michael Dyson) on the subway who carries a red box, a present. Danny is curious and is allowed a peek inside. But once he does, Danny is never the same again.
The Box is very notably based on a short story and I think I would have preferred reading it than seeing it. But it was a very well-handled short film and I was invested enough that its last sentence gave me goosebumps.
The Birthday Party
Mary (Melanie Lynskey) has everything perfectly planned for her daughter Lucy’s (Sanai Victoria). But what she hadn’t considered in her planning was that her husband Dave (Seth Duhame) would just keel over and die just before the party starts. Desperate to not ruin things for Lucy and to keep her face in front of the nanny (Sheila Vand) or the neighbor Madeleine (Lindsay Burdge), Mary decides to hide the body.
The Birthday Party had me in stitches. The idea may not be entirely new, but Lynskey’s pitch-perfect performance and comedic timing, as well as Vand’s coolness make even the more predictable stuff work very well. And the postscriptum was also great.
Paul (Casey Adams), Gretchen (Breeda Wool), Jess (Angela Trimbur) and Jay (Morgan Krantz) go on a trip to the desert where they discover a cave with strange paintings that seem to show a demon. It doesn’t take long and that very creature catches up with them.
Don’t Fall was the weakest segment of the anthology for me. Even though I loved that we got a lesbian/wlw couple as a matter of course and I loved the creature’s movements, the formula was a little too stale for this one to really take off.
Her Only Living Son
Cora (Christina Kirk) has raised her son Andy (Kyle Allen) on her own and she did her best. But now Andy is almost 18 and things are out of control. Only that nobody but Cora seems to see any problem with Andy.
Her Only Living Son was the highlight of the anthology for me. It took some unexpected turns, and hit some notes I would have never expected it to hit (the scene with Andy’s principal alone makes the segment stand out). It really was very cool.
Summarizing: Great anthology, and even better for the fact that women came together to make it.