Shocking Saturday: American Mary

This weeks Shocking Saturday film has me torn between whether or not I really enjoyed it. There’s no doubt that American Mary keeps you gripped to the screen for the duration of the film. However by the end it may make you pose the question…What was the actual story line?


Mary is a lonely, young woman who is studying to become a surgeon. All she wants to do is prove herself worthy to her grandmother and judgemental teacher, however money problems cause her to attempt to find work in a strip club. She presents her CV to the employer who explains that she can make $5000 if she performs a quick surgery on someone. With the extra money in her pocket and after being invited to have drinks with several of the other surgeons she thinks that everything is looking up. That is until a certain event changes her way of thinking completely, and forces her into the world of body modification. As the films continues Mary changes her entire morals and ends up performing procedures which she had never even dreamed of.

I did really enjoy the first half of the film because the plot was so imaginative and original, but after we progressed in to the second half of the film it seemed to me as though they were just trying to glamorise body modification. This is no stab at that line of work, but it felt as though I was watching a completely different film. Although to be fair Sylvia and Jen Soskia, the director’s, have said that they wanted to create a film which showed off people who are looked at as different in society, which it does.

Katharine Isabelle plays a brilliant role for the horror genre, emerging from the lonely medical student to a strong woman who enjoys the occasional murder and changing people’s features to that of which god did not intend. Isabelle was first introduced to horror cinema – in what will probably always be remembered as her most remarkable role – in the 2000 film ‘Ginger Snaps’ where she played the lead role of ‘Ginger’, another movie which saw her change from two different characters throughout. Both characters (American Mary and Ginger Snaps) slightly mimic each other, with their ‘don’t-really-give-a-f**k’ attitude.

The make-up effects and acting is flawless throughout, but it is just the fact that the plot appears to whither away towards the end of the film. Plus I thought that the ending had been rushed, as though the writers couldn’t really figure out how to conclude the film so they created something which I didn’t think had any real relevance to the rest of the film.

Do not let the fact that the story doesn’t stay compelling throughout the whole film put you off though, as many horror fans will definitely enjoy American Mary. Mainly due to the original plot and the amazing graphic effects, so give it a watch but just don’t expect a spectacular ending.

Tage Line: Appearances Are Everything.

Horror Rating: (:-O) (:-O) (:-O)

Star Rating: