Out of Tune (Ed. by Jonathan Maberry)

Out of Tune is a short story collection edited by John Maberry.
[I got this book from a LibraryThing Early Reviewer Give-Away. I am not early with my review, but honest.]
Finished on 8.9.2018

Content Note: sexualized abuse, rape

All of the stories in Out of Tune are based on old ballads. To make the connections between the retellings and the originals, each story is commented on by Nancy Keim Comley. I really appreciated those comments. In fact, I would have liked a more extensive commentary and more info on the folklore behind the stories.

Overall I found the collection rather middling, with a couple of highlights that literally stood out from the rest of the stories.

More about each of the stories separately after the jump.

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XX (2017)

Segment 1: The Box
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Writer: Jovanka Vuckovic
Based on: Jack Ketchum‘s short story
Cast: Natalie BrownJonathan WattonPeter DaCunhaPeyton Kennedy
Segment 2: The Birthday Party
Director: St. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Writer: Roxanne BenjaminSt. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Cast: Melanie LynskeySeth DuhameSanai VictoriaSheila VandLindsay Burdge
Segment 3: Don’t Fall
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin
Cast: Casey AdamsBreeda WoolAngela TrimburMorgan Krantz
Segment 4: Her Only Living Son
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Christina KirkKyle AllenMike 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.

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Offspring (2009)

Director: Andrew van den Houten
Writer: Jack Ketchum
Based on: Jack Ketchum’s novel
Followed by: The Woman
Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Ahna Tessler, Amy Hargreaves, Holter Graham, Art Hindle, Andrew Elvis Miller

Along the North-Eastern coast of America, people have been disappearing for over 100 years. What nobody really knows is that a pack of feral cannibals is the cause of the disappearances, though one retired policeman (Art Hindle) does suspect it. The group’s roaming brings them back to Maine and into the house of Amy (Amy Hargreaves) and David Halbard (Andrew Elvis Miller), who are visited by their friend Claire (Ahna Tessler). In a desperate attempt to save their children, Amy and Claire take up the fight.

I was so in love with The Woman that I just had to see its prequel Offspring. Unfortunately it’s one sore disappointment – badly written, badly acted and boring.

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The Woman (2011)

The Woman
Director: Lucky McKee
Writer: Lucky McKee, Jack Ketchum
Based on: Jack Ketchum’s book
Sequel to: Offspring
Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Lauren Ashley Carter, Zach Rand
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

While out hunting the family father Chris (Sean Bridgers) stumbles upon a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) in the woods. He decides to capture her and make it a family project to civilize her. Since his family – wife Belle (Angela Bettis), daughters Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter) and Darlin’ (Shyla Molhusen) and son Brian (Zach Rand) – are entirely under his thumb, nobody really says anything against that – at first.

I’ve started taking quick notes after every film I see because there’s just too long between me seeing them and blogging about them and I see too many films and anyway, what I want to say is the first thing I wrote down after this film was, “Bist du deppat” which literally translates to “are you stupid” and means something like “holy fucking crap, that is so… woah.” In this case in an entirely positive way.

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