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XX is a Horror Anthology Film directed by Roxanne Benjamin, Sofia Carrillo, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, and Jovanka Vuckovic. It stars Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool, and Christina Kirk. The main gimmick of the movie was that all of the four segments were directed by women.

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  • The Box: A young boy, Danny, (Peter DaCunha) lost the will to live after looking inside a mysterious red box from a strange man on a train. Much to the fear of his family, he refused to eat anything, slowly starving himself to death. Based on a short story by Jack Ketchum.
  • The Birthday Party: Mary (Melanie Lynskey) was setting up a birthday party for her daughter Lucy. However, things took a turn for the worse when her husband had committed suicide. She would have to hide the body so it doesn't ruin the party.
  • Don't Fall: A monster in the woods story where four friends led Gretchen, who was afraid of heights, to a cursed cave. They got more than they bargained for, as their friend got possessed by an evil spirit.
  • Her Only Living Son: A single mother, Cora, had to deal with her troubled teenage son, Andy. However, she soon find out said son was a spawn of Satan himself.
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The framing device that connected the segments together was a Stop Motion Animation depicting a walking dollhouse, directed by Sofia Carrillo.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017, and was released in a limited release and through video on demand on February 17, 2017.

Not to be confused with XXX


This film provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    The movie in general 
  • Adult Fear: Out of the four segments, three of them (The Box, The Birthday Party, and Her Only Living Son) portray a mother as a protagonist dealing with a calamity befalling on her family.
  • Anyone Can Die: As per the horror tradition, most or all of the characters bite it either before or at the end of each segment except for the Birthday Party.

    Framing Device 
  • Creepy Child: The dollhouse's friend.
  • Creepy Doll: The camera follows a dollhouse with a porcelain doll's face and limbs.
  • Heart Drive: What the dollhouse is ultimately trying to find for its friend.
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    The Box 
  • Arc Words: "Nothing."
  • Body Horror:
    • Mary's nightmare, where a large chunk of flesh has been carved from her leg.
    • By Christmas, Danny is pretty emaciated from having gone without eating for so long.
  • Creepy Child: Danny after peeking inside the man's red box, and his sister too after he passes on the secret. Especially creepy during Mary's nightmare about the family eating her for dinner.
  • Crusading Widower: When her family finally starves to death, Susan becomes determined to find the man with the box.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Danny should not have peeked inside that box. And the others should not have strived to find out from him what was in the box.
  • Death Seeker: Danny. Whatever he sees inside the box saps his will to live. He doesn't care that he's going to starve to death. The same thing happens to Jenny and Robert when they get told the secret. At the end, it's implied Susan becomes one too, as she knows what will happen if she looks inside the man's box but wants to find him anyway.
  • Downer Ending: Danny tells his sister and his dad what he saw inside the box, but we never find out what he told them. All three of them starve to death, leaving Susan alone. Now, she searches for the man and the red box, unable to stop her curiosity as to what was inside.
  • Eaten Alive: Mary has a nightmare in which she carved up by her family, who then devour her flesh, all while she is still alive.
  • Eureka Moment: When Danny hands Mary a box exactly like the one the man showed him, Mary realizes why he and the rest of her family have stopped eating.
  • Food Porn: Played with. Lots of shots of uneaten food that looks really tasty.
  • Hollywood Giftwrap: This is how the eponymous box is wrapped. Of course, there is a good chance the man carrying the box wanted someone to look inside. And it is never revealed exactly who the box was a present for...
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Mary has a nightmare where she is being consumed by her family.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Mary suffers a nightmare where she's cannibalized by her family at the dinner table.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We never find out what's in the box, who (or what) the man carrying it was, and why he showed it to Danny.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Robert hits an Anger Born of Worry Rage Breaking Point when Danny refuses to eat pizza, his favorite food.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Movie.
  • The Spook: Who is the guy with the red box? We never know.

    The Birthday Party 
  • Alcoholic Parent: David has a whole shelf of alcohol in his office, along with a flask in his suit jacket, and he died with an empty glass in his hand.
  • Based on a True Story
  • Bedsheet Ghost: After a Potty Failure ruins Lucy's first costume, Mary creates her a new costume as a bedsheet ghost.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Mary feels compelled to keep her husband's death a secret so as not to spoil their daughter's birthday.
  • Black Comedy: Mary's attempts to keep her normal suburbia-hell life on track while also hiding her husband's body are darkly hilarious.
  • Body in a Breadbox: Or, more accurately, Body In A Panda-Suit.
  • Control Freak: Downplayed. Mary is implied to be one, to the detriment of Lucy, but she truly does love Lucy and doesn't want her birthday to be ruined.
  • Determinator: Mary absolutely refuses to let her husband's suicide ruin Lucy's birthday.
  • Downer Ending: David's body is eventually discovered, and the title implies that it scarred Lucy for life.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Mary's assistant Carla, intensified by her all-black wardrobe and dark makeup.
  • Harmful to Minors: What Mary is trying to prevent. She fails. Spectacularly.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After hiding David in a panda-suit just as the guests arrive, Mary pours his flask into her drink.
    • Clara, already exasperated by the party, takes a swig from David's supply when she thinks no one is around.
  • Jump Scare: To Mary, when Carla appears behind her out of nowhere.
  • Long Title: Its actual Either/Or Title. The Birthday Party, or, The Memory Lucy Suppressed From Her Seventh Birthday That Wasn't Really Her Mom's Fault (Even Though Her Therapist Says It's Probably Why She Fears Intimacy).
  • Never My Fault: Mary brushes off comments from her daughter's therapist that state she's the reason for Lucy's anxiety. The Long Title also implies she'll feel this way after her daughter is scarred for life, when it would have been easier to just call the police.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Mary dresses her husband's corpse in a panda suit and props it up the head of the table. The charade lasts for a remarkably long time.
  • Potty Failure: A potty failure ruins Lucy's first costume, causing Mary to make her a new one as a Bedsheet Ghost.
  • Stealing from the Till: Clara is helping herself to her employers' liquor.
  • Stopped Caring By the time David's body is discovered, Mary is too drunk/exhausted to care, she ends up just sitting there, staring blankly, as everyone around her freaks out.

    Don't Fall 
  • Cat Scare: At one point, Paul pretends he's being attacked and ducks down behind some rocks, and then goes quiet. Gretchen gets scared and goes to look for him. When she turns around to argue with the rest of the group, something sneaks up behind her. It's just Paul, milking the joke.
  • Dangerous Key Fumble: Jay drops the keys to the RV when he goes back to rescue Jess. He has to go back and attempt to retrieve them from under the broken window that Gretchen is lurking outside.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Don't bribe the gas station attendant to tell you about a cool off-road camping spot in the middle of the desert.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Gretchen begins to transform into... something... soon after her possession.
  • From Dress to Dressing: When Jess falls off a cliff and breaks her leg, she rips up her top and turns it into a tourniquet.
  • Grand Theft Me: The evil spirit attacks and kills Gretchen, taking over her body.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Gretchen's girlfriend, Jess, tries this. No dice.
  • Kill 'Em All: None of the cast survive the events of this segment.
  • Living Shadow: The spirit.
  • Only Sane Man: Jay takes one look at Demon!Gretchen and immediately tries to leave in the van. It doesn't help.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Jay had actually explained what was wrong with Gretchen, the others probably wouldn't have stopped him from ditching her.
  • The Stoner: Paul.
  • Tainted Veins: The first visible sign of Gretchen's transformation is the veins in the palm of the hand that touched the cave wall turning black.
  • Title Drop: Gretchen's girlfriend teases her by saying "don't fall" when they're standing on the edge of a rock formation.
  • Transformation Trauma: The transformation Gretchen undergoes into human/spider hybrid is extremely rapid and painful.
  • Wall Crawl: Gretchen does this at the end to get to Jess.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Gretchen is afraid of heights. Jess pretends to push her over the edge of a cliff in a practical joke that sets the plot in motion.

    Her Only Living Son 
  • Adults Are Useless: After Andy violently attacks another student and sends her to the emergency room, the school refuses to do anything, even going so far as to blame the victim. As they're in the same cult as Chet is.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Andy gives one at the end. It gets him and his mother killed.
  • Anti-Antichrist: What Cora tries to persuade him to be. She succeeds, but they're both killed.
  • The Antichrist: Andy is the offspring of Cora and Satan, destined to bring about an "empire of suffering".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Andy and Cora both suffer painful deaths on his birthday, but both resist the lure of Satan's power and die together, affirming their love for each other.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Cora after a dream/flashback about the birth of her son.
  • Dead Animal Warning: The cult nails a dead squirrel to a tree outside Cora's home.
  • Deadly Nosebleed: Cora and Andy both develop nosebleeds when they are hugging, attempting to withstand Satan's assault on them. They die.
  • Disappeared Dad: Cora mentions that Andy's father had no interest in raising him, preferring to carouse around Hollywood with girlfriends. Because he knows he's not a real father, and just sold Cora out for fame and fortune.
  • Fingore: Andy is described as ripping another student's fingernails off. She's not his only victim, judging by the box of nails and fingertips under his bed.
  • Evil All Along: The cute postman who flirts with Cora is actually a cultist.
  • Jerkass: Andy is a really nasty person. He nails squirrels to trees, rips off his classmates' fingernails, and displays a strong sense of hostility towards his mother. Of course, this should all be expected, since he's the Antichrist. Although he performs a Heel Face Doorslam at the end.
  • Kick the Dog: A literal variant happens just offscreen.
  • Mama Bear: Cora stands up to Satan himself for her son.
  • The Power of Love: How Cora wins Andy over.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Only for him to be killed when he embraces her.
  • Stealth Sequel: To Rosemary's Baby, although it barely tries to hide it.
  • You Have Failed Me: Satan murders Andy for refusing to accept his destiny.
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