XX (2017) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

XX (2017) Review

Horrorific content by Ciarán Coleman on June 17th, 2021 | Movie Review | Supernatural, Anthology

Add XX (2017) to your Watchlist

Add to Watchlist

You need to login or register to add this movie to your horror watchlist.

It’s about four women dealing with horrific events in their own separate stories.

XX is a 2017 American anthology horror film directed by Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin and Karyn Kusuma.

Four deadly tales by four killer women

XX Review

Anthology horror movies have a bad reputation and for good reason. It’s extremely hard to tell a strong compelling story, particularly in horror, as you only have about twenty minutes in which to cram relatable and compelling characters with proper character development and house a beginning, middle and an end. More times than not the end result is unsatisfying. XX is no exception.

The first short film is entitled ‘The Box’ and was written and directed by Jovanka Vuckovic. This is by far the most disappointing out of the four films. The premise of the short film - a young boy on the train with his family, looks inside a strangers box and as a result refuses to eat - is surprisingly brilliant for the constraints of a short film and for the first fifteen minutes, despite the odd acting, bad writing and stiff directing I was sold. Then, in the final minutes, the editing went from bad to just downright awful and the ending was just… bad. That being said the practical effects were excellent and the plot definitely had a lot of potential.

In between each short film there’s a stop motion animation that is quite possibly the highlight of this anthology despite feeling pretentious and somewhat unnecessary. The animation is effectively eerie but fails in both standing on its own and connecting the films.

Don’t get me started on ‘The Birthday Party’. The second film in this anthology is nonsensical, abrupt and one of the worst pieces of film I’ve ever seen. Written and directed by Annie Clark, also known by her musician name ‘St. Vincent’,  there’s practically no horror, awful attempts at dark humour and brutal editing. I can’t think of anything good to say about it. The story, about a mother finding her husband dead the day of her daughter's birthday party and trying to hide him from the guests is so annoyingly absurd it’s not even funny and the ending is even worse than the previous short film. If the reveal was the mother being insane, or perhaps she was the real killer the story might have been somewhat salvageable but the result is just a complete failure of a short film that I genuinely regret watching.

‘Don’t Fall’, the third film in this anthology is by far the best and houses some of the finest practical effects I’ve ever seen in a short horror film. It follows four friends on an expedition across the desert who come across an ancient cave painting showing an evil spirit, before camping out for the night. Gretchen, one of the friends, is taken over by the evil spirit and attacks her friends. The story is simple but effective and I can’t compliment the practical effects enough. With that, the acting is inconsistent once again and the overall writing, despite being better than any of the other films, is mediocre at best.  However the small budget has to be taken into account so the emphasis on the horror and body horror in particular was a brilliant choice and worked extremely well in this short films favour.

The final film, though not the worst, was perhaps the worst film to place last in this anthology. ‘Her only living son’ focuses on a single mother and her rebellious son who also happens to be the spawn of satan. The film has a similar problem to the others, building and building tension to a ridiculous or otherwise disappointing ending. This film features some very strong performances but suffers from one of the worst endings I’ve seen in horror. The theme of a mother trying to protect her son from evil is powerful and is delivered surprisingly well, but can’t save this film from being just downright boring.

Worth Watching?

In my opinion, absolutely not. The stories are just bad and the horror elements are few and far between. If you’re in the mood for a horror anthology I’d recommend ‘Ghost Stories’ and if you’re in the mood for anything actually scary I’d stay as far away from ‘XX’ as possible.

XX Review (2017) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

Would it Kill You to Subscribe?

Get horror news, reviews and movie recommendations every Friday!

We respect your email privacy