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New Female Horror Anthology the Blu-ray you need this winter


Monster Pictures will release XX, an acclaimed horror omnibus. Made by some of the most talented contemporary female filmmakers working today it will be available on Blu-ray and DVD July 19. Diabolique magazine raves: “XX showcases voices in horror that don't get heard nearly enough.”

Here are four dark, twisted tales written and directed by women. The Box opens proceedings. A child peers into a stranger's box. Later that night a stark change comes over him. He loses his appetite before passing on a secret that soon affects other members of the family.

In the short Don't Fall, a group of hipsters on a camping trip stumble into grounds haunted by an ancient curse. A creature horror with smart effects and cumulative scares ensues. Annie Clark (the acclaimed musician St. Vincent) makes her directorial debut with The Birthday Party. Melanie Lynskey organises the titular event for her step daughter when she is interrupted by a sudden death. The surreal atmosphere culminates in a hypnotic montage that brings the desultory images together memorably.

The director of The Invitation, Karyn Kusama, the most experienced of the directors, delivers the standout short. Her Only Living Son is a masterpiece of uneasy human interactions and strained relationships with a superb performance from Christina Kirk. Sofia Carrillo contributes a series of stop motion animations that function as connective tissue between the shorts, a creepy and no less fragmentary nightmare reflecting the themes and despairing undercurrents of the whole.

“It ultimately doesn't matter who contributed to XX,” writes Matthew Gribbe, “the important thing is they're all winners, which makes the case for diversity through action.”

“It's a very enjoyable and often scary anthology,” notes Screen Anarchy.