Tonight, for Horror Friday, we watched a film called XX. It was another one that had come off a ‘hidden gems’ type list, and caught my interest partly because it’s an anthology film not only written and directed by women, but also featuring women as the main characters. It ended up a little bit of a mixed bag, but it’s still well worth the time.

Biggest highlight for me were the animations that appear at the start and end, as well as between each segment. They were made by Mexican animator Sofia Carrillo who uses children’s toys (dollhouses , bits of dolls, etc) to create eye-catchingly creepy stop-motion scenes. I’ve stuck a YouTube compilation of these animation sequences below, for the curious …

The standout among the stories was easily the second one–The Birthday Party–a black comedy starring Melanie Lynskey as a middle class mother who finds her husband dead in his office, but is nevertheless determined to go ahead with her daughter’s birthday party.

Of the others, the first segment–in which a woman’s entire family starve themselves to death after sharing some unheard secret–was intriguing, but ultimately frustrating due its lack of answers. Number 3 was a fun, Evil Dead style tale, in which a group of teens fall prey to an ancient spirit while camping. The final story was wonderfully made, but echoed Rosemary’s Baby a little too closely for it to hit home for me.

Overall, though, it makes a change from the usual and is well worth checking out.