I miss going to the movies but, being so far removed from the cinematic experience for so long, there’s a freedom in that detachment. Keeping up with the release schedule is daunting and it’s nice to have much more time to explore smaller niche films. In that exploration, you may discover that Kevin James makes a better recently-escaped, Aryan Brotherhood convict than you’d expect in the quirky, dark, horror-comedy Becky.
The premise is fairly simple. A group of escaped convicts descends on a family’s cabin to find a valuable item that was hidden there. However, it’s the execution that gives this movie its identity.
The script by Nick Morris and Ruckus & Lane Skye doesn’t take itself too seriously but effectively blends dark-comedy with practical, real-life horror. Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion had fun with those elements but didn’t shy away from making some of the goriest kills I’ve seen in a horror movie in some time. Brutality isn’t the focus, as much as the psychological warfare between the antagonist and protagonist, but it’s certainly memorable when it happens.
Lulu Wilson stars as the titular character and while I would have liked to see a bit more foundation for her character, she does a good job with the role regardless. It’s established that she’s a little different and harboring some anger towards her dad and his new love interest, but that’s about it. Throw in some regular teenage angst, a touch of psychopathy, and you’ve got your anti-hero. Wilson thrives in the chaos and I just would have liked to see more of her formative character.
James is a strong opposite number and it was refreshing to see him stretch his range with a role that stripped him of all the familiar elements of his brand. He’s genuinely menacing in moments, but there is an unshakeable Home Alone vibe. Just with more graphic violence and profanity. I don’t think James will be switching gears to drastically despite a good performance, but I would like to see him venture out into these kinds of roles.
The supporting cast is solid too, featuring Joel McHale, Robert Maillet, and Amanda Brugel. For a relatively low-budget horror flick, it’s effective in its scares but also maintains a pretty good sense of humor throughout. It also has a kick-ass original score by Nima Fakhrara that didn’t get nearly enough attention last year.
Recommendation: If you enjoy the horror genre and have a sense of humor about it, there’s no reason you wouldn’t enjoy this one.