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Annie Clark (St. Vincent) Directs the Worst Birthday Ever in This ‘XX’ Clip

Now in theaters, On Demand, Amazon Video and iTunes is XX, an anthology film tells four deadly tales from four killer women: Roxanne Benjamin, who produced Southbound with us and also directed one of the stories; rock and roll icon Annie Clark (“St. Vincent”); Karyn Kusama, one of TV’s leading female directors and the filmmaker behind The Invitation; and up-and-comer Jovanka Vuckovic, director of the short film “The Captured Bird”.

A new clip has been posted online from rock star Annie Clark’s (St. Vincent) directorial debut, “The Birthday Party”, which shows a woman clearly having a very, very bad time, while staring intently at a man (or woman?) in a panda costume directly across the table.

While imperfect, XX is a solid and unique new entry into the anthology genre, which Ben Lenard reviewed out of the Sundance Film Festival’s world premiere.



  • Matt Graupman

    I’m very curious to see Annie’s debut as a director. She’s an excellent musician (sounds like she – as St. Vincent – scores her segment) and I’m very curious to see how that creativity translates to the screen. Jovanka Vuckovic’s “The Box” is very intriguing, also.

    • Satanzilla

      Unfortunately this was the real stinker in the anthology. The first and last ones were solid short horror tales. The one about the people in the RV was pretty straightforward although was very thin on story. This one just sucked.

      • J Jett

        Satanzilla i agree w/ you. the “Birthday” segment was really bad. i love Melanie Lynskey but even she couldn’t save the Birthday segment. it wasn’t creepy, scary or anything horror-ish. the first segment “The Box” was decent (thanx in large part to fantastic Natalie Brown starring in it) and the last entry from Karen Kusama was decent as well. the RV/monster entry was ok-ish i guess. the problem with these shorts are they are too short. it made it difficult (impossible?) to really create any atmosphere/creepiness/etc. The Box actually does have some decent atmosphere though.

        • Satanzilla

          Mainstream reviewers are raving about the Annie Clark short, probably due to her star power. Even they agree it’s not really horror, more satire. I thought it failed at that as well, unfortunately. It’s not funny and not surprising. I found the whole thing cringeworthy from start to finish.

          Yes with shorts you really just have to sit and expect a shower rather than a bath. I like them although it’s very hard to tell a story in little time. That’s why it’s actually harder to write a short story than a novel.

          You can see that here. The first and last segments are actual coherent stories even though there’s little time to tell them. The short about the RV is more like a scary greeting card — directed by one of the Southbound directors. I liked it — a fun scary snippet — but it’s not really a fully realized story like, say, The Box.

          Clark does tell a story, but it’s not a story I want to watch, and not nearly as funny as it thinks it is.

      • Matt Graupman

        That’s unfortunate to hear. “XX” is coming to my local indie theater next month so I’ll still probably check it out, though. Gotta support any effort to diversify horror, right?

  • Matt Graupman

    Ha! True. And I expected it to be a mixed bag, like most anthologies (yes, the “V/H/S” movies included – except for “Viral” which was shitty from start to finish). I’m just bummed that the weak link seems to be Annie’s contribution.

    • Satanzilla

      You may disagree and love it though. If so let us know.

      • Matt Graupman

        So I checked out “XX” today and, overall, the whole thing was very solid. “The Box” was definitely the best segment but I thought “The Birthday Party” was very good, too, especially for a first-time director; it was certainly the most stylish one and I love me some Melanie Lynskey (she was reliably great). I agree with you on “Don’t Fall.” Straightforward, good effects, light on story; it was probably my least favorite segment, though, just because it didn’t really give me anything I hadn’t seen before. “Her Only Living Son” was a good closer, it built up the dread very well, but the ending was kinda of deflating. As anthologies go, “XX” was one of the better ones and it reinforced my belief that female directors create some of the most emotionally resonant and engaging films in the genre.

  • David H Christ

    I liked this anthology a lot. It wasn’t as scary as I was expecting but the first short, The Box, was really affecting.

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