Four women write and direct short films in horror anthology XX.
Most notably, Annie Clark of the band St. Vincent (My hero!) makes her film-directorial debut with a segment called The Birthday Party, in which a frantic mom (Melanie Lynskey) panics when she finds a corpse just before her child’s birthday celebration. The segment looks great, is acted well, and features some great sound—including St. Vincent music. As a piece of horror, it’s a bit of a failure (it’s more jokey than horror), but the segment does show that Clark can direct performances and pull together the technical parts. It’s just not all that scary.
Things get creepier in an Evil Dead sort of way with Don’t Fall, in which desert campers come into contact with demonic forces after seeing some sketches on a stone wall. There isn’t much of a story to the segment, but the scares come fast and furious once somebody gets possessed.
The other two segments (The Box and Her Only Living Son) deal with starvation, parenthood and the Antichrist; they also have their moments.
Nothing in this anthology is groundbreaking, but there’s enough here to warrant watching if you are a horror fan—or you’re a St. Vincent fan.
XX is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.