XX | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


This new horror anthology offers four short films directed by women.

These films also feature women as the protagonists, but in more interesting ways than in traditional horror, which often reduces them to victims (whether or not they fight back). In “The Box,” the horror is unseen, unknowable, and is destroying an otherwise normal family: After an encounter with a man on the subway, a young boy refuses to eat. Jovanka Vuckovic’s film is unsettling, not least for its close-ups of delicious meals that go uneaten. Melanie Lynskey stars in “The Birthday Party,” directed by Annie Clark (a.k.a. music’s St. Vincent), which makes dark comedy out of a rich girl’s celebration gone wrong. It’s padded and not at all scary, but has some kicky production design. “Don’t Fall,” from Roxanne Benjamin, presents a typical story: Four careless pals go camping in the wilderness, disturb a piece of ancient art and suffer the expected consequences. Lastly, there is Karyn Kusama’s “Her Only Living Son,” in which the origin and relationship of a single mom and her 18-year-old son are slowly revealed. It is an interesting set-up — the lad is more than just an adolescent troublemaker — but it fails to resolve with much satisfaction. 7 and 9 p.m. Sat., March 4; 4 p.m. Sun., March 5; and 7 p.m. Mon., March 6. Hollywood