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REVIEW: ‘Becky’ is a Brutal & Bloody Home Invasion Thriller

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Lulu Wilson in "Becky"

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

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Doug Bradley Wants To Play Pinhead Again In A ‘The Scarlet Gospels’ Movie Adaptation

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This is exciting news for fans of the actor and the franchise. In an exclusive interview with Bloody Disgusting, Doug Bradley says, I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. Check out more of what he says in the interview below.

Movie Scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Doug Bradley says, “I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. I’ve never said I’m retired from it. I’m sensible about these things, too. I was in my mid-30s when I first played the character, and I was just turning 50 when I played him the last time. I ain’t in that age range anymore. I’m now in my 70th year, and to some extent, I think special effects makeup is a younger man’s game.”

Movie Scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Then, when talking about a movie adaptation of The Scarlet Gospels, he says “If we did that, we could maybe present an older Pinhead to be aware of the fact that I am the age I am, that time and gravity does what time and gravity does. An older, darker Pinhead would intrigue me, one not so much in love with the flippant one-liners and the witty comebacks and so forth.”

Deleted Scene from Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

The Scarlet Gospels is a novel written by Clive Barker that was published in 2015. It served as a continuation of his novel The Hellbound Heart and the Harry D’Amour stories. The book followed the story of the Hell Priest, the demonic Cenobite nicknamed “Pinhead”, and his efforts to gain power. Occult detective Harry D’Amour must journey into Hell to rescue his friend and stop the Hell Priest’s plans.”

Movie Scene from Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

While Bradley does state he is too old for the role, The Scarlet Gospels follows an older pinhead which would work perfectly for the actor. Are you excited about the news of him playing the character again if this adaptation happens? Let us know in the comments below.

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Season 5 of HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Is Greenlit

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True Detective Season 5

Whether you liked Issa López’s interpretation of HBO’s True Detective: Night Country, the streamer has given her the go-ahead for another season, the fifth for the long-running series.

That’s right López will once again take the reigns of True Detective which HBO says the Night Country installment was its most-watched season of the creepy series to date, with its finale (aired on February 18) getting the highest viewership numbers since its premiere in January.

True Detective
True Detective: Night Country

“From conception to release, ‘Night Country’ has been the most beautiful collaboration and adventure of my entire creative life,” López told Variety. “HBO trusted my vision all the way, and the idea of bringing to life a new incarnation of ‘True Detective’ with Casey, Francesca and the whole team is a dream come true. I can’t wait to go again.”

True Detective: Night Country Official Trailer

Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming added, “Issa López is that one-of-a-kind, rare talent that speaks directly to HBO’s creative spirit. She helmed ‘True Detective: Night Country’ from start to finish, never once faltering from her own commendable vision, and inspiring us with her resilience both on the page and behind the camera. Alongside Jodie and Kali’s impeccable performances, she’s made this installation of the franchise a massive success, we are so lucky to have her as part of our family.”

López was very verbal on social media about doing Night Country, from the announcement she got the gig, until its completion. You might know her work outside of HBO starting with the sublime 2017 supernatural thriller Tigers Are Not Afraid.

Some viewers were divided on the supernatural direction Lopez took True Detective, but the overall consensus is that it was a great twist to an already phenomenal series.

True Detective: Night Country stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis as two investigators examining the strange mass death of an Ennis, Alaska research team who may or may not have succumbed to a curse perpetuated by the indigenous people of the area.

There is no word yet on plot details but keep checking back with us and we will keep you posted.

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Josh Brolin Replaces Pedro Pascal in New Zach Cregger Film ‘Weapons’

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josh brolin

Horror fans who loved Zach Cregger’s Barbarian will be excited to hear that his new project Weapons is still in active production. An exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter states that Josh Brolin is in negation for the film’s lead role.

The role was originally meant for Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us) but a scheduling conflict with the new Fantastic Four film has caused him to leave the project. This is an interesting decision on the part of Pascal. The Fantastic Four film franchise hasn’t exactly gone well in the past. But hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?

Pedro Pascal
Pedro Pascal

Luckily, Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War) is showing up to fill the position. Horror fans have been wildly excited about the new project from Zach Cregger, even though very little is known about the project.

The Hollywood Report states that the film is ‘an interrelated, multistory horror epic that tonally is in the vein of Magnolia“. And I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds amazing. If anyone can pull off a film like that, it’s Josh Brolin.

Josh Brolin

This would technically be Josh Brolin’s first horror film. The actor has been known to be very picky about who he worked with in the past. Fans are taking this as an indication that the film will be well written. Or at the very least, have an original concept.

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