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XX

Director:  Roxanne Benjamin, Annie Clark, Karyn Kusama & Jovanka Vuckovic
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  0.5

A collection of four "horror" short films with no cohesion: Vuckovic's The Box has a little boy peek inside the present of a stranger on the subway and, presumably traumatized, starve himself to death, in Clark's The Birthday Party a stressed mom (Melanie Lynskey) tries to cover up her husband's death before the title celebration, Benjamin's Don't Fall is a "don't camp on sacred ground" moral tale and Kusama's Her Only Living Son is Rosemary's Baby ... only sillier. It's unique in that all four directors are female and feature female leads - working in a genre that's mostly filled with men - but the offerings here are so slight: The Box doesn't make any sense (there's a cannibalism scene that doesn't fit in to the bare narrative), Clark's piece is more of a (weak) black joke (she's a very skilled musician!) and Don't Fall 'ends' before it has any chance to gain momentum. Just because a project is limited to twenty-some minutes doesn't mean it should have been written in that same amount of time. The stop-motion frame story (by Sofia Carrillo) is unsettling (echoing the work of the Brothers Quay and Jan Švankmajer) and arguably the best component to this.

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