The Soska Sisters: An Introduction

January 25, 2015

Arts and CultureFilm | by James Joseph


There may be many of you who are already clued up about the Soska Sisters, as many of you are horror fans, I’m sure they won’t be new to you. But we thought it’d be rad to do an online piece featuring the sisters and some of their best work.

The Soska sisters [Sylvia and Jen] are horror film writers and directors extraordinaire, having now directed and cameoed in American Mary, See No Evil 2 and Dead Hooker In A Trunk. I’m not going to deny I was late to the Soska Sisters party. I only became introduced to their work with American Mary, [which is a genius piece of work, if that isn’t adding too much bias]. But have since caught up with their other work.

Some say that American Mary was the sister’s becoming acclimated to Hollywood, which I believe they would agree with. But don’t think that makes the film any less twisted, scary or beautifully peculiar.

I’d read what Sylvia had said about how the two sisters came up with the script for American Mary, whilst looking online. She states:

“It was an April Fool’s prank where a guy had his twin brother’s arm sawn off and put on to his chest-plate, so he had three arms. It scared me to my core. And what happens when I get scared by something is that I become obsessed with it…”

I can relate to that, among other things a fear, and then obsession with death is certain a major factor to bringing Stylenoir into existence. Turning fears into obsessions is fascinating, and a great place to go into building a concept or, a script.

soska sisters

What is enthralling is that not only are the sisters producing twisted worlds beyond most people’s imagination, but that CGI does not play a part. For American Mary for instance all body modification and, ahem, alteration, was either real, or practical effects.

It sounds like it all began at an early age too. The sisters have described their Mum letting them watch Poltergeist at the age of 10 after a lot of pressure from Sylvia and Jen, stating “we can handle it mum!”. After which, they couldn’t and were terrified. So the sister’s Mum sat them down and explained everything in the film from the prosthetics, to the makeup to the script and actors [badass mum for sure!] and the sister’s reaction?

“Wait a minute. It can be your job to scare people for a living?”

Perhaps that day the Soska Sisters set out on their journey of horror, but what’s more exciting is what is to come, they are currently working on Vendetta, and even a film adaptation of Painkiller Jane, which to be honest could be a whole lot of fun for the sisters. A character who can survive harm but feels all the pain it gives? Well, that’s just a recipe for glorious disaster!