Watch Out: “XX,” a female-focused horror anthology

XX is a horror anthology in four parts, all from female perspectives available on Netflix.

Mothers doing their best, Girls just trying to have fun, and Single Ladies looking for a little solidarity. In XX we get to see vignettes of everyday life going horribly wrong and getting darkly twisted.

Check out the trailer and then if you’re not convinced, check out my review of the parts and the whole of XX.

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The Box

A mother on a subway train with a precocious daughter and a nosy little son discover the danger of talking to strangers, no matter how nice they might be.

This one was more confusing and unsettling than horrifying but definitely interesting. However, this was the most beautiful of the set. The second installment was very artsy but this was basically food porn (in that it was a lot of beautiful scenes of food – no food related sex acts).

The Birthday Party

A mother and her hyper-stylized, under-animated maid work to prepare for her daughter’s seventh birthday party when the mother has to suddenly work to mask an upsetting discovery.

This installment of XX was more of a dark comedy than a horror story. Priorities misaligned, questionable choices, and chance encounters actually offer a welcome break from the downer that was The Box. The characters were all delightfully self-involved and well groomed. Except for the children… they looked like after thoughts. Though the story was about the events of Lucy’s birthday party, the series isn’t about youths, it’s about WOMEN. Women who wear tailored lingerie. #Goals

Balconette Bras

Don’t Fall

A Stoner, his sister, her girlfriend, and their knowledgeable other-friend take a camping trip off the beaten trail. After a bit of goofing around, trying to scare one another off cliffs, and poking at petroglyphs the inevitable happens: an ancient curse/evil/guardian/demon is awoken.

I don’t know what happened in this. This situation went from a walk in the park to Primal real quick. I even rewound a bit to try to figure out how we went from Yogi Bear to The Revenant. No Clue. Of the bunch, this was the most traditionally “horror” even if it was the hardest to follow.

Her Only Living Son

Another mother, this one single and running from a dark past with her son who’s on the cusp of his 18th birthday. Her son is a good boy with violent urges and a magnetic, compulsive personality.  Everyone except the main character and her creepy son are concerned with his behavior.

While the creep and horror factor on this one was turned up the suspense and story telling were flat and predictable. It was hard to get attached to any of the characters or even feel empathy for them. The mom was in denial and making a series of questionable choices. The son was a dick and didn’t really have any clear motivation behind his behavior. Then there were the towns people who were either in on the situation or possessed.

XX

I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. It’s nice to have something different and focused on women. The women aren’t heroes, victims, or villains, they’re just main characters offering perspectives.

An anthology is best with a theme and quality sections carrying their own weight.  XX not only succeeds in this but also in a unique way where the anthology itself carries its own weight. between each segment, there is a little stop motion horror show of doll and toy parts mashed together running errands and conducting experiments.

Overall, it’s not a must watch but it’s worth a watch. I hope they make a series of these like the VHS movies but  for ladies!

tavia.

My parents let me watch and read way too much science fiction and fantasy when I was a child. Now that I'm grown, I'm bored and I can't wait for SkyNet to awaken or the super-virus to cull the human population. I'll be safe because I've learned to reason with robots from Data and the Terminator franchise... and I eat gummy vitamins by the fist-full.

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