Cinema Clips: XX

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Four women direct short films in this horror anthology.

Most notably, Annie Clark of the band St. Vincent (My hero!) makes her film directorial debut with a segment called The Birthday Party, where a frantic mom (Melanie Lynskey) panics when she finds a corpse just before her child’s birthday. The segment looks great, is acted well, and features some great sound and St. Vincent music.

As a piece of horror, it’s a bit of a failure (it’s more jokey than horror), but the segment does show that Clark can direct performances and pull together the technical parts. It’s just not scary.

Things get creepier in an Evil Dead sort of way with Don’t Fall, where some desert campers come into contact with demonic forces after seeing some sketches on a stone wall. There isn’t much of a story to the segment, but the scares come fast and furious once somebody gets possessed.

The other segments (The Gift and Her Only Living Son) deal with starvation, parenthood and the antichrist, and they also have their moments. Nothing in this anthology is groundbreaking, but there’s enough here to warrant watching if you are a horror or St. Vincent fan.

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