This is my first time watching a movie by the Sisters Soska, and yes, it was mainly done because I figured that if I could sit through "88" it was time that I finally got around to watching this movie which also has Katharine Isabelle in it. Though my initial belief for some reason was that this would be a horror movie it was more of a straight up slasher flick. There is blood- so much blood- but not a lot of scary moments, as it is more straight forward-- a modern "American Psycho" if you will.
The story centers around a character who is bored with med school because she's crushing the classes and needs money so she begins by taking an odd job that pays cash and then eventually through a series of events finds herself as a body modification artist, yet she also still likes to torture people if they have done her wrong.
One of the main characters who is her professor really becomes her first sort of experiement as she performs a number of body-mod procedures on him. At one point late in the film he is almost rescued. As he tries to slither away from Mary, the camera angle reminds me a lot of a particular scene from one of my favorite movies- "Audition"- and whether it is intentional or not it can still be chalked up to being an homage rather than a rip off.
The Twisted Twins have a cameo in this themselves and it is quite interesting to see what different people want done to their bodies to make themselves sort of stand out, or as the movie puts it: to make them look on the outside how they feel on the inside. One character specifcally looks like Betty Boop through surgery and when she introduces Mary to her friend who wants some unusual work done it's not scary per se but rather suspenseful as Mary approaches the room and waits for this woman to turn around.
I feel in so many ways like that whole concept of anticipation-- wanting to know and being on the edge of your seat to know-- is better than really anything 99% of other so-called horror movies out there are accomplishing today and really since the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (No, I don't feel there has been a proper horror movie since then, but I'm not going to really go into the history of horror here either. Really, suspense is the new horror)
Of course, since there are elements of suspense I must give the nod here to an Alfred Hitchcock influence which is never a bad thing as I would watch any of his movies over most anything made in my lifetime because the man was just that good. I always hear about movies that they say have that Hitchcock appeal but they never seem to live up to their hype ("The Others" comes to mind), and yet I never really heard of Hitchcock being linked to this before (Again, I thought it'd be more a traditional horror movie for whatever reason) and so it is a pleasant surprise to find it there.
Some time last year I was in the Friends of the Library book store at my local library, where I have purchased quite a few books, and they had a couple of Blu-Rays for sale. One of them was, oddly enough, this movie and I thought about buying it but didn't simply because I hadn't yet seen the movie and at the time I didn't have a Blu-Ray player. This decision haunts me now that I've seen this movie though because I'm sure they wouldn't have asked for more than five dollars for it and though "American Mary" is not a movie I may watch a hundred times I would like to watch it again.
Having this in your movie collection though would also be beneficial because it seems like one of those films you'd let one of your friends who'd never seen it borrow, as if to say, "You have to check this out", you know, the friend you have who doesn't have Netflix because, yes, this is on Netflix right now (That's how I watched it)
Before "American Mary" came "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" which is a bit trickier to find since it's not on Netflix but I will now look into watching that and then, of course, the Sisters Soska also directed the sequel to "See No Evil". I watched the first "See No Evil" with WWE's Kane and actually enjoyed it so I feel like the second will be even better with these two at the helm and, yes, Katharine Isabelle will also have a role. Whatever they choose to do next, the future looks bright for the Sisters Soska and I'm ready for wherever they may wish to take me.