ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 16: Revenge

A young woman arrives in an idyllic poolside estate overlooking the desert with her wealthy, older boyfriend. She is scantily clad and coquettish--working a lollipop in quite the lasciviously suggestive way. What seems like a hedonist fantasy at first (an older, wealthy, married man all alone in a beautiful house with a young sexy woman and a weekend filled with their vices of choice: drugs, alcohol, sex) gets upended when Richard’s (Kevin Janssens) sketchy pals, Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède) arrive unannounced. This sticky situation is further aggravated when, during a night of partying, Jen (Matilda Lutz) proceeds to drunkenly flirt with them all. 

31 Days of Horror, Day 25: American Mary

“American Mary” (2012) is a criminally underrated dark comedy and horror film directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska. Due to its subject matter and gore, it was not widely released. It was released to V.O.D. and DVD quickly, though, helping the film amass a cult following. “American Mary” is often left out in discussions about women in horror. It’s overshadowed by more popular cult classics like “Jennifer’s Body” and “The Descent”  — both of which are vital to discussions about women in horror — but it’s a mistake to ignore “American Mary.” The film is disgusting, cathartic and creative. It deserves to be ranked amongst the best body horror and rape revenge films of the past decade.

31 Days of Horror, Day 3: Revenge

The sub-genre of “rape-revenge” movies has often proved to be an uncomfortable viewing experience. A staple of Grindhouse and horror, it has the potential to present the empowerment of a victim over her (and it always is a her) attackers. Yet all too often such films explicitly linger on the cruelty and assault, throwing in nudity which seems designed to titillate rather than bring sympathy and aimed to appeal towards the desires of a male audience. With Coralie Fargeats “Revenge” (2018) a balance is addressed, which reclaims the tropes of the genre to offer a bloody and gory empowering female perspective.

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