Spotlight On: Karyn Kusama


Karyn Kusama’s career started out with two films that mostly flew under the radar. While neither Aeon Flux (2005) nor Girl Fight (2000) is lauded with much praise, they’re both solid entertaining pieces. More importantly, both films feature strong female leads. This seems to be a trend in Kusama’s filmmaking and one that I particularly am very fond of.

Kusama has also directed episodes of many different shows such as Halt and Catch Fire, Casual, The Man in the High Castle, Masters of Sex and The L Word. This variety shows her extreme diversity and ability to weave through different genres. She is a continuous presence on our TV screen.

One of my favorite films that she directed is Jennifer’s Body (2009). I personally believe that this movie doesn’t get the credit it deserves for so wonderfully blending multiple genres together. We get horror, comedy, and teenage drama all in one with a fantastic cast. Megan Fox is perfect as Jennifer and Amanda Seyfried plays wonderfully against her. Horror comedy is not easy to do but this is a wonderful example of it.

The Invitation (2015) is one of the best example of a horror-thriller in modern times. The way this film was done is exceptional, and an absolute credit to Kusama. It’s scary, but not in a false or temporary way. It’s creepy and uncomfortably realistic. Most importantly, it keeps you guessing until the very end. This is a film that you will be discussing and recommending long after you watch it.

The segment Her Only Living Son of the film XX (2017) is what made me look into Kusama in the first place. When I realized she had also directed The Invitation, a film I adored, I knew I had to make a spotlight on her. Kusama not only directed, but also wrote, this segment that masterfully combines motherhood with the supernatural. I don’t want to give anything away but please, watch this film.

Kusama doesn’t have anything upcoming listed on IMDB.com but I know that whatever she does next I will purposely search out. Thanks for the entertainment and the sleepless nights Karyn!

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