American Mary

The rape and revenge subgenre has always been controversial, however when done well, it works to open up discussion of rape culture, and to reverse the gaze from survivor to rapist. American Mary offers a daring new take on rape and revenge and body horror cinema that does not limit its scope to sex and murder. Writers and directors, Jen and Sylvia Soska examine the life of a girl who has worked toward something all her life, only to have her dreams shattered one after the other. Mary uses the wrongs that have be brought upon her to fuel her own twisted American dream. American Mary is a bold, refreshing, and emotive horror flick that showcases the potential of the Soska Twins.

Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) plays Mary, an intelligent, funny, awkward, sexy, and scary medical student struggling to make ends meet. Isabelle’s performance is instantly captivating as the perfect girl next door. But when she’s offered a healthy sum of $5000 to sew up a back-alley crime victim, a little part of her deteriorates, and it all slides downhill from there.

Word gets out that Mary is in the game of performing underground operations. Mary realizes her potential as a surgeon, and though her ethics are compromised, she makes the money she needs to get through med school by performing seedy plastic surgeries.

All is coming up bloody roses until Mary becomes the victim of a sexual assault. After this heinous act, Mary is gone. All the events lead up to her metamorphosis, where she transforms from hero to monster, making for one fierce female anti-hero. She may be the girl of your dreams, but cross her, and she’ll surgically remove your arms and sew your eyelids shut.

Rather than forcing gore in the face of the audience, the Soska Twins utilizes the bloodshed to challenge the audience’s views on transformative surgery.  Paying tribute to body horror and rape and revenge cinema, the Soska Twins have created a film that’s bound to make audiences feel for their devil of a protagonist. This is a film that shines a light on Canadian cinema, offering hope that there is still originality to be found in horror.


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American Mary

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