American Mary

Released: 2012
Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Distributor: IndustryWorks Pictures, XLrator Media, Universal Pictures
Film Website:
Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgren, Paula Lindberg, Clay St Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holliday
Genre: Drama, Horror
Film Rating: 18
Review Rating: 3/5

American Mary

**Spoiler Alert**


“American Mary” is based on the socially unusual topic of body modification. Something that outwith the comunity is often frowned upon. Created by the Soska sisters, this film was taken from their personal interest in the body modification and alternative scene. The sisters also with the story of Mary show what it is like to be a woman in an industry that is male dominated or somewhere where woman aren’t particularly welcomed.

The storyline of this movie largely focuses on the revenge which Mary Mason seeks after her brutal sexual assault. As a viewer I saw her character change from an innocent girl trying to become a surgeon into someone that was angry and set on getting revenge on those who had wronged her. The whole tone of the movie feels as though it changes and we see it go from a story about a struggling woman trying to find her way in the world to a strong woman that intimidates those around her.

Something I found interesting within this movie was that the two main settings were either wherever Mary was performing her body modification surgeries or the Bourbon A Go Go, which is a strip club. This interested me because both of these things are seen as taboo subjects and professions that a lot of society would look down upon or see as strange. This shows that the movie maybe wasn’t trying to normalise these subjects but rather give an insight into the underground world that they are a part of.

The problem I found with “American Mary” was that unless you are interested in the community which is portrayed, then I don’t think this film would really pull any interest. A lot of it focussed on the work that Mary was doing and I personally found that interesting but I didn’t find the actual storyline of the movie to be that strong. I thought the whole thing was pretty fast paced and wasn’t really stopping long enough on the characters to give them more depth or let me as a viewer grow a connection to them. I would have liked to see more of the relationship between Mary and Billy Barker, I feel like it is touched upon and skimmed over rather than explored. I would also have liked to have learned more of Beatress and her friend. Knowing so little about Beatress just made it seem like she was nothing more than a strange girl that Mary met, when in fact she played quite a large part within the movie.

The casting of “American Mary” in my opinion was great. I think all the characters were really believable within their roles. Especially the main character “Katharine Isabelle” as “Mary Mason”, I think that she did a great job at showing the strong and the vulnurable personality of her character.  I felt watching her that I was seeing a woman that in a way was broken and using a false strength to make people afraid of her, she was protecting herself. I think that “Katharine Isabelle” even when playing the bad-ass still managed to show me as a viewer how hurt this character really was.

Overall, I would recommend this movie to anyone that has an interest in the body modification scene, or maybe if you just want something a little bit different from the typical horror movie to watch. It was definitely interesting but personally I did think it got a little boring at times or there were moments where I was struggling to keep up with what was going on. I did feel like there were maybe details that were missed making it a little hard to follow, but overall it was a good movie.

Review by Kayleigh McKenzie