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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Anthology > Supernatural > Monster > XX (2017/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)

XX (2017/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: B Film: B

XX (2017) is a new horror anthology film is comprised of five shorts, all directed by women, and each one with its own unique twist on the genre. These talented filmmakers include Annie Clark (making her debut here), Karyn Kusama (Girlfight), Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound), and Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird). The wrap-around segment is a bizarre stop motion animated piece by award-winning animator Sofia Carrillo (La Casa Triste), that is reminiscent of the works of Henry Selick (Coraline) and Tim Burton and very experimental in nature.

XX stars Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool and Christina Kirk.

XX starts with a bang with Vuckovic's The Box - a creepy short that tells the story of a family that is plagued when a young boy encounters a crooked-eyed man holding a red ''present'' on a subway train. In a Lynchian moment, this mysterious man opens up the box for him and what the child witnesses changes him dramatically - and other members of his family follow. Definitely the most elegantly shot segment, it has some narrative flaws and an ending not to unique.

Clark's The Birthday Party is an almost comedic tale where a mother must dispose of a body in the wake of her daughter's birthday party. The weakest of the four entries, its ending is both funny and morbid, redeeming the less than great buildup.

Benjamin's Don't Fall is the next and my favorite of the bunch, as it's a creature feature that is uniquely shot and features some great practical special effects and sound design. Packing more action than the other installments, it seems to go by in a breeze while others tend to drag a bit at moments. One reason being its focus on blood and guts, as opposed to some of the more surreal ideas the other's try to portray.

And finally, Kusama's Her Only Living Son, which is a demented 18-year-old who has a powerful purpose and a mother who is trying to protect him. Reminiscent of Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, this segment has some pretty fine acting and a great reveal that leads into its third act.

The Blu-ray transfer of XX is in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a clear DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track. Considering the low budget of the shorts and overall film, the cinematography is one of its strongest assets, with visual styles shifting slightly film to film. The score is appropriately creepy, with a huge loud orchestra strikes that bring some extreme moments to life.

No digital copy.

The Special Features are vast and include:

The Making of The Box

XX Set Visit in 360 Degrees: BTS - The Birthday Party

Birthday Party BTS Photo Gallery

Don't Fall Stunts and Special FX

BTS: Her Only Living Son

Interviews with the Directors

Better than most recent Horror anthology films I've seen admittedly in a while, XX is pretty fun and well made from a filmmaking perspective. Defiantly recommended!

- James Lockhart



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