REVIEW: ‘Becky’ is a Brutal & Bloody Home Invasion Thriller
When you think of young adult fare labeled horror, certain movies may come to mind such as Twilight or Goosebumps, but thankfully Becky isn’t for younger viewers even though the main character is one. Becky (Lulu Wilson), both the movie and the character, are ultra-violent entities that are capable of surprising the audience with just how bloody-thirsty they both really are.
It’s not that you haven’t seen all this before; a distraught teen in the midst of puberty struggles to control her emotions. But Becky’s are exacerbated because she has recently lost her mother to cancer and her father (Joel McHale) has proposed to another woman (Amanda Brugel). To celebrate the engagement he has brought all of them together for the weekend at their secluded vacation home situated in the woods.
As basic and derivative as the set-up might be, the film rises above itself thanks to the performances by its stars to become one of the best horror movies of the year. Fast-paced and brutal, Becky should satisfy genre devotees looking for action, unflinching gore, and gratifying kills.
As stated before Becky is struggling to move on after the death of her mother and is resentful that her father has seemingly already done so. This leads to angry exchanges between them once they reach their vacation home and when her dad’s new fiance shows up with her young son (Isaiah Rockcliffe), our miserable Becky takes one of their two large dogs and self-isolates inside her wooden fort located a small distance from the main cottage.
Meanwhile, a group of violent prisoners are in transit to another facility and orchestrate an escape from their transport vehicle in one of the more improbable aspects of the film. Their psycho leader, Dominick, played by Kevin James, is on the hunt for a key which is hidden—you guessed it—somewhere in the family’s vacation home. James, known more for his likable dorky sitcom characters, burns up the scenery working against type and if you didn’t get the message, he has a large swastika tattooed on the back of his bald head.
Once the gang invades the home and holds Becky’s family at gunpoint, she spies them from her fort and witnesses her other dog being shot. She springs into action unbeknownst to the criminals who have no idea she’s there.
What follows is a cat and mouse game reminiscent of Die Hard and Home Alone. Becky, like the former, is a blood bath. The teenager sets up traps, instigates their rage, and confronts them every chance she gets by way of a walkie talkie. This could have been a film fueled by that gimmick alone, but the actors don’t take the script for granted and directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion keep the pace tighter than fishing line.
Although most people will be curious about Kevin James’ performance since this is his grand departure from comedy, this is Lulu Wilson’s movie.
Wilson, unlike James, is no stranger to horror. Although she usually goes up against supernatural foes as in Ouija: Origin of Evil and Annabelle: Creation, in a way, like James, she is also playing outside her zone. Fighting demons against a green screen or CGI is a lot different than going up against flesh and bone actors and practical special effects.
Whereas the kid in Home Alone set up a paint can to hit his pursuers in the face, Becky wants it to go through their skulls, don’t let this dragon slayer’s pretty blue eyes fool you. Wilson has it all under control as she goes from emotionally troubled to bellicose. Hollywood take notice.
As for James, even though he’s all beard and tattoos, he doesn’t feel as threatening as he should be. That honor goes to Robert Maillet as Apex, the unpredictable convict who towers over the rest of the cast.
There is one particular scene with James and a large brass key that will make squeamish people look away. James is brave to jump from comedy to horror and although the saying may be that comedy is the hardest medium, horror is no slouch. He is fine here as the villain but he never really rises above the trope enough to make him as truly terrifying as his dialogue hopes he will be.
Cinematographer Greta Zozula has got all the action under control and has so much confidence in the gory practical effects she lingers on them even in daylight. Music fans will also find plenty to love in Nima Fakhrara’s synth-pounding score.
With a movie like Becky you can’t help but point out the borrowed parts of better-known action films. But the cast and crew are of such great chemistry they have forged a movie that is greater than the sum of its parts. Bloody, relentless, and often surprising, viewers will most likely come away ironically praising its originality rather than its homage. And that’s quite a feat to pull off in this age of remakes, reboots and reimaginings.
Becky is On Demand and Digital and at select drive-ins on June 5, 2020
Spirit Halloween Unveils ‘Horror Babies’ Including Ghostface, Pennywise, and More
Spirit Halloween is unveiling the goods a bit earlier than usual this year. For example, these little horror babies that give us infantile versions of Ghostface, Leatherface, Pennywise and Sam from Trick r’ Treat. We were already excited when they announced all-new Killer Klowns From Outer Space items, but these horror babies are making sure that they bring the goods even earlier.
The breakdown of Spirt Halloween Horror Babies goes like this:
- Trick’ r Treat Sam Horror Baby: Equipped with his signature lollipop, this Sam baby will never get fussy – as long as his new family follows the rules of Halloween.
- Scream Ghost Face Horror Baby: Perfect for classic slasher fans, this sweet Ghost Face baby comes equipped with a prop bloody knife for a baby so cute he’s to die for.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface Horror Baby: Featuring his signature mallets, fans will need to be careful to pacify this Leatherface baby if they want to avoid getting whacked.
- IT Pennywise Horror Baby: Straight from the sewers of Derry, this Pennywise baby is sure to give any guests a sweet scare.
Horror Babies are looking fantastic and bring that very cool bit of nostalgia with them. From Ghostface to Pennywise the lineup is looking fantastic.
Each of these hauntingly adorable Horror Baby is available for purchase for $49.99 on SpiritHalloween.com, now while supplies last.
‘Talk to Me’ A24 Trailer is Chilling Us to the Bone With New Approach to Possession
The very chilling, Talk to Me reinvents the possession genre by turning the entire genre on its ear and dropping the beat on the terror. Each moment spent in the trailer is very intense and full of atmosphere.
There is a bit of Breakfast Club combined with this intensely moody possession thriller.
The synopsis for Talk to Me goes like this
When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.
The film stars Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, and Chris Alosio.
Talk to Me arrives July 28, 2023.
Nicolas Cage Plays a Very Wicked Devil in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ Trailer
Joel Kinnaman plays alongside the very wicked Nicolas Cage! Why so wicked you ask? Well cause this time around he is playing none other than the devil himself and he is bringing all of his wicked charm and red hair with it. That’s right, the first trailer for the very off the wall Sympathy for the Devil is here.
Okay, is he really the devil? Well, you are going to have to watch to find out. But, it doesn’t change the fact that this whole thing looks like its a blast out of hell and a ton of fun.
The synopsis for Sympathy for the Devil goes like this:
After being forced to drive a mysterious passenger (Nicolas Cage) at gunpoint, a man (Joel Kinnaman) finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse where it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems.
Sympathy for the Devil arrives July 28, 2023!