American Mary (2012) Review

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For some reason I never got round to watching this film for a few years despite hearing great things about it. When I put on Twitter that I was about to watch it I got a lot of tweets saying how this is one of their favourite horror films. Its written and directed by the awesome Soska sisters who I follow on Twitter so it even surprises me I’d not watched it sooner.

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Directors: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

Writers: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

Run Time: 103 minutes

Trivia – The Soska sisters’ parents re-mortgaged their house in order to raise money to finance this film. Moreover, both parents make cameo appearances in this movie.

Trivia – All the special effects were done practically.

In a wonderfully scored opening scene we meet Mary Mason, she’s performing surgery on a turkey using it to practice her cutting and stitching skills. So there we have it Mary is studying to become a surgeon but she loses her job and as with a lot of students she struggles to make ends meet. So Mary applies for a job in a strip club this however is a bad move or a good move depending on how you look at it.

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During her “interview” her potential boss is called away, turns out his goons have tortured someone and now they need him fixing before he dies. Luckily they have a trainee surgeon at hand, Mary is offer $5,000 to stitch the guy up and forget it ever happened, this is the start of Billy the club owner developing a big crush on Mary and who could blame him. She accepts the money and goes home but feels wrong about what she’s done.

Later Mary is approached by Beatress who worked as a stripper at the club, she has had surgeries to look like Betty Boop. Beatress has a friend who wants some drastic illegal surgery done and is offering Mary a few grand just to turn up and talk about it. Once there Mary accepts the job for a cool $10k. Once again Mary is troubled by how unusual the request is and trust me it’s freaking weird! But due to such a lack of cash she accepts.

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At the hospital the surgeons that Mary is training under happen to notice all the cash she suddenly has and invite her to a surgeon only party. They suspect Mary has turned to prostitution to pay for everything, something terrible happens to Mary and you may find it uncomfortable to watch but it’s all worth it for her brutal and I mean brutal twisted revenge.

She quits medical school and gets a reputation for her remarkable skills in performing weird and wonderful surgeries on anyone who can pay her price. Business is booming but a police officer begins to investigate Mary after the disappearance of one of the surgeons she used to work under.

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The police officer is not the only worry for Mary as someone returns very unhappy about some surgeries Mary has performed, this all leads to the end scene.

The Good

  • Katharine Isabelle is great as Mary.
  • This film is scored to perfection, there’s a piece of classical music Ave Maria which is played with increasing skill through the film mirroring Mary’s increase in skill as a surgeon. Even the non classic music throughout the film is a perfect fit.
  • The Soska sisters cameo!
  • Mary’s revenge is horribly twisted but much deserved for the “victim”
  • The pacing of the film is perfect as we see Mary become more and more skilled.
  • Always good to see practical effects used over cgi.
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The Bad
  • Ending felt a bit rushed, I felt there could have been some more scenes with the people involved in the last scene of the film.
  • Mary is well and truly alone with only her grandma to speak to outside of people she meets during the film.
The bad points are a bit nit picky and do not detract from how good this film is. The score is something else, the small cast are all great and seeing Mary change over the film is a fun watch. I can see why people dub this film a modern classic it really is one fun film to watch and if you’ve not seen it you really should.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10

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One thought on “American Mary (2012) Review

  1. Pingback: One Year Anniversary Awards | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

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