Like the plasticized patients that parade through its narrative, AMERICAN MARY (2012), the sophomore effort of twin-sister filmmaking team Jen and Sylvia Soska (DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK), is an amalgam of various parts, weaving together body-horror, rape-revenge, and a dash of romance with surgical thread. The result is a picture that is certainly one of the more lovelier looking contemporary horror films that I’ve seen in some time. The colorful cinematography and musical selections play on the inherent beauty of everything from operating rooms to strip clubs. The Soskas prove that they’re no slouches in the storytelling department either; the scene of Katharine Isabelle waking up, post-rape, and tearfully assessing herself and her surroundings aches with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Though the film starts to show its scars upon review, one of the strongest elements is the subdued love developing between Isabelle and handsome–if not wholly compelling–Antonio Cupo. The twisted nature of their relationship–the closer they get to each other, the more mistakes they make–could have served as the basis of an entire movie by itself.

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