"American Mary, a new horror movie directed and written by twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska that opens on Friday, takes on such hoary conservatism. If the horror movie is typically about punishing women, this one is the opposite: it's about restoring robbed power. It centers on the titular surgeon-in-training (Katharine Isabelle) who falls into an extreme black-market body-modification subculture. The problem of cinematic objectification is addressed with characters who are literally objectified and thus desexualized: Mary's first procedure in a non-traditional OR involves cutting off a woman's breasts and sewing (mostly) closed her vagina, completing the patient's transformation into a doll not in the Runyon sense but the Mattel one. The filmmakers posit that it's not fair that God gets to decide what kind of body we have, and thus bestow that divine power upon the women themselves. They're in total control of their bodies."
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