Thursday, December 19, 2013

American Mary and a Third Act Explanation

6 of 7 viewers "Liked" "American Mary" (2012, Canada)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Math Mage - "A mad scientist film for the modern age." - 4 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I really like this movie but it also made me want to throw up." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "Leaps and bounds better than the twins' first movie. What it lacks in parts of the plot, it makes up for with cool sets and aesthetically pleasing shots." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "The Soska twins team up to create a stylish and modern mad scientist flick that showcases horrors newest queen, Katharine Isabelle." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Impostor - "One of the most original horror movies of the year. "American Mary" is daring, dark and entertaining. I'm excited to see what the Twisted Twins come up with next." - 4 Stars

The Great Hornito - Spoiler - "I really liked the first 30 minutes or so of the movie. The Soska twins have great ideas but I just thought the movie lagged a lot. I didn't like the Mary character either. I was actually happy when she was killed in the end." - 2 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - "The Soska twins' shitty German accents took a star away but I loved everything else which surprised me because of how much I hated "Dead Hooker in a Trunk"." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
I had to swear that this movie was better than "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" before anyone would agree to watching it. I don't think that's unreasonable either and you'll understand if you've seen the Twins' first film. Love or hate Dead Hooker, American Mary is at least worth a once over.

The Soska Twins undeniably have an eye for horror. American Mary is a stylish character driven story about a woman paving her own way in a mans world. I myself found the Twins' "I am woman, hear me roar" attitude to be less than entertaining in Dead Hooker but in American Mary it's clever and well disguised. Mary suturing a turkey in her kitchen makes the visual statement that she can "play" doctor as long as she stays in the kitchen (where women belong) versus Dead Hookers portrayal of males as gullible sex-crazed assholes (i.e. cops, inn keeper, main villain), who all made ludicrous decisions in hopes of sex. And no I'm not looking into something that isn't there. The Turkey statement is no mistake as when she moves the only boxes we see are marked "kitchen" but yet her new place has no kitchen (another awesome visual statement). And the main villain in Dead Hooker was motivated by a "forked dick"...

The one thing that kept me from loving "American Mary" and giving it a 5th star was it's third act. I along with many others felt that the ending was very lacking. I honestly thought they had overrun a deadline and had to rush a conclusion, it really felt that strange to me. It wasn't until viewing the film with the Math Mage that I had heard a good defense for it's uncharacteristic ending.
- Spoiler -
My issue with the third act starts when she finishes killing the cop, that scene is followed by 2 or 3 scenes in the bar and then her untimely murder. It honestly felt like they had run out of ideas, given the first 2 acts felt like a roller-coaster called the modern mad scientist. A roller-coaster so fun that when you exit you talk about getting right back on but then find there is a long line to get back to the park... What I'm saying is the rest of the movie is a breath of fresh air and a lot fun and the ending dragggggggsssssss.
Math Mage made this argument, he said the film is all about this woman's rise to fame among the community she becomes master of, so when she peaks (operating on the Twins') she naturally will become complacent, thus resulting in the lacking 3rd act. 
I really like this explanation, I think the 2 or 3 bar scenes I whined about earlier even back this idea. I mean 1 scene is her analyzing her career and second guessing her life choices and the other is her becoming jealous of a man who has been chasing her forever, she just had too much going on to care, and of course she does once he is with another woman.
The one thing about Math Mage's theory that keeps me from changing my rating to a 5 and stopping at 4 1/2 is the fact that it feels more like an interpretation of a bad ending than a planned thing.

The awesome poster art used above comes from Matthew Therrien check out his Tumblr here.

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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