4. XX (Movie Review)

XX (90% Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: This four-part anthology of short horror films features stories that include some traditional themes but all are shown from a female point of view.

Review: Right away we see that this movie has broken off from our Netflix suggested trend of ghost/demon movies. Why doesn’t this one fit with the Netflix algorithm we have been seeing (refer back to first article of this series to get filled in)? Well good reader I can tell you exactly why.

This is a Magnet Releasing movie. No matter how many bad movies I dive into, no matter how many times I share my account password and friends ruin my suggested list, Magnet will always be there. That is because not a single Magnet movie I have watched on Netflix has received anything less than a 4 star rating from me or a thumbs down if we are talking the new rating system. They will always be the highest rated suggestion on Netflix for me. Simply put without going total fan boy right now, THEY ONLY RELEASE GOOD MOVIES! Oh yes there will be a whole article series just for their films coming up, don’t you worry. Until then lets start breaking this movie down.

This movie is split up into 4 short films which are all shown from a female point of view and are all directed by women. I would say there is actually 5 films in this because of the intro and its continuation as a transition piece between films. Not sure if that is actual considered “XX” or if it had a name at all, but it was one of the coolest stop motion animations I have seen in a long time. As far as the short films go they span the full spectrum of horror, Lets look at the first!

THE BOX (Directed by: Jovanka Vuckovic)

This hit home because of the two kids in the film. Until having your own kid to take care of you don’t fully understand the horror that sinks in when you see another kid struggling. It makes you feel like it is your own kid. The horror itself in this one is the slow creeping magic you felt when watching episodes of The Twilight Zone long ago. It radiates with that sense of mystery and leaves you wanting to know what happened in the end.

The scenes had a very well thought out approach in the way it was filmed. It never felt like I was watching a unnecessary scene and made watching it captivating. Which is refreshing in today’s sea of hard cuts and filler. I still want to know what was in that damn box and why it had the effect that it did on the family.

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (Directed by: Annie Clark)

This is exactly the type of horror/comedy mix that I expect from a Magnet film and was not disappointed. They always have you laughing at the most serious things and questioning your own sanity. Which is why I love Magnet so much. They make you FEEL, and that is what film should be about.

When I saw that Melanie Lynskey (loved most by me for playing Rose in Two and a Half Men) was in this I internally screamed. She is so damn good at playing quirky parts and it felt like this whole entire short was built around her personality. She delivered as expected and I loved every second of it. Nothing like a dead dad in a mascot outfit as a scarring birthday gift.

DON’T FALL (Directed by: Roxanne Benjamin)

Alas a creature/monster short in the film (or possessed legend thing… idk really lol)! I’m game for watching anything with makeup FX. Hands down one of my favorite things about horror movies is when they use practical effects and I was not let down. The makeup worked well when you saw it in the right lighting. Looking at stills of it though in the bright red lighting it looked really off and rough. Fortunately when it does pop up in the bright red light its only a flash of a second so you don’t get long to look at it. Which was their intention I am sure.

The cast I hated in this and I think it was meant to be that way. You want to not care about them and if they die or not. It’s like watching a Friday the 13th movie where you are rooting on Jason to kill the terrible teens. The way the creature moved in this was fantastic and sold it as not being human anymore which is a key point when making it believable.

Final thing I want to touch on was that fantastic use of the camera at the end to make it look like it was walking down the side of the cliff. Simple as getting the camera low and filming the actor walking towards you, but man was it effective and threw a little flare into the end of it all.

HER ONLY LIVING SON (Directed by: Karyn Kusama)

Probably my least favorite out of the four films. I liked the message that the short sent about how a mothers love is never ending. However my care for the movie ended once you find out what he is. I mean to be honest you get the notion of whats going on before they give it away. Gave me a feeling of just wanting it to kind of be over because there was nothing left to tell in the story.

Have to be honest that I have no clue on what that ending was all about. Was it love that killed them, was it him? It built up and built up and the final ahah moment never came. It faded out and left me angry that I had no clue on what had just happened. If that was the goal, then it worked.

Final Vote

IMDb can suck it with their 2.5 rating on this movie. I give it a solid 4 out of 6 on the reel rating system for thecreativity presented time and time again throughout the short films. Was going to throw it a 5 but there were a few minor dislikes in each of the shorts that held this movie back as a whole. I will say that the stop motion animation almost deserves its own rating to which I would give it a 6 out of 6 all day long. With that we have one more movie left in this series. Catch you next time heathens!

-Nate

 

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Nathan Smith

5'11" Male w/ hazle eyes Looking for open minded, pizza loving companion with cats. Likes: Long walks off short piers and yelling out car windows at locals. Perks: +2 Agility +5 Taco eating +9 Dissapointing your parents in your life choice of knowing me. Dislikes: Searching for the remote, finding the remote but missing one battery and at last finding the remote with both batterys but missing battery cover so you have to use a old piece of tape that eventually falls off and leaves your hand sticky from the residue it left behind. #givehertheDoomblade ASL?

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