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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Natalie Brown, Jonathan Watton, Melanie Lynskey, Casey Adams and Christina Kirk
Distributor: Thunderbird Releasing
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 08 May 2017

XX is a Horror Anthology of four tales comprising: The Box, The Birthday Party, Don’t Fall, and Her Only Living Son. It is apparently the first film of its kind to be written and directed by women, and to feature women in prominent roles in all the shorts. The stories are loosely connected with dolls house animation from award winner Sofia Carrillo.

The Box sees a couple and their two children riding the train home after a day out, when the boy becomes curious about what another passenger has in a gift box. The stranger allows the boy to peek inside and from that moment the boy refuses to eat – to the point that he becomes a genuine medical concern. Then the boy’s younger sister wants to share the secret. The Box is based on a story by Jack Ketchum, and written for the screen & directed by Jovanka Vuckovic. I am already aware of this short story, and have to say that it’s pretty well realised here. The characters are portrayed with conviction – particularly the boy and his father. The intrigue is great because there’s nothing more scary than the unknown.

The Birthday Party (written by Roxanne Benjamin & Annie Clark, and directed by Annie Clark) has a woman discover her husband’s dead body and struggle to hide it throughout her young daughter’s birthday party. I would venture as far as to say this is a black comedy. It’s a premise which seems so far-fetched it’s ridiculous, whilst being eminently watchable. However, it is said to be based on a true story.

Don’t Fall (written and directed by Roxanne Benjamin) sees a group of teens travel in a camper van to a remote area for a holiday get-away. After they find some strange cave markings, one of their number undergoes a horrifying transmogrification. This, along with The Box, Is the best of the bunch. A Creature feature which borrows a little from Japanese 1990s innovation.

Her Only Living Son (written and directed by Karyn Kusama) has a woman moving her teenage son to a new area to keep one step ahead of his father. But who or what is his father, and why does he want his son back? This is an urban tale of demonology. Does the boy give in to his heritage or fight for a normal existence?

So, a fine collection of short films topped-off with special features in the form of Director Interviews. But don’t fall for the ‘extra’ which goes under the guise of Making of… It barely starts before it ends, and most of it is stolen from the interviews.


Ty Power