I’ve tried to start this review several times, but keep starting over. This movie is far too unique to be easily described. There is just so much to appreciate. It is the latest film from the Soska sisters, who’s previous film “Dead Hooker in a Trunk” I am a big fan of, and shows a HUGE creative leap forward for the twins. It stars the always sexy and fantastic Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, Freddy vs Jason), who once again demonstrates her talents and proves why she is my perverted fantasy Queen. The story is anything but typical, and is easily the best film I have seen so far this year, Horror or otherwise.
The story concerns a young and beautiful student named Mary, who is studying to be a surgeon, with a bright future ahead of her. Money trouble leads her by chance into the dark realm of underground surgery, which after a traumatic rape by her professor leads to the extreme body modification world. We see the evolution of Mary from a promising student, to sympathetic character, to victim, to tormentor, to somewhat a villain. All the while, we retain full sympathy and empathy for the character. Even when she is performing terrible and gory acts, somehow they seem justified. There are several other films that use a rape/revenge angle and depict a victim becoming the tormentor, but rarely does this extend beyond taking revenge on those who have wronged the subject. Mary continues her downward spiral, and seems quite comfortable in her new crazy boots. Watching the evolution of the character, it’s almost like we can see the light in her eyes dim to shadows.
One scene in particular stood out to me. It occurs just moments after Mary has killed two men, and used the help of Lance, an intimidating Strip Club Bouncer to cover it up. Lance relates to Mary the story of how his own mother had died violently, and how much he wished for a fitting revenge. He tells her that what she does has value, and the world needs someone to do the things that she has been doing. Then he gives her a chocolate milkshake. She takes a drink as she contemplates what he says, then it’s like a shadow lifts from her. For a brief moment, we see that familiar light return to her eyes. From a creative and technical standpoint, I found this film utterly beautiful, but it is on the strength of the portrayal of the characters that this film really shines. It’s a Beautiful film, that just so happens to be soaked in blood.
Check Your local listings from screenings, keep your eyes open for the DVD/BluRay release… whatever you have to do, SEE THIS FILM!