Updated: Oct 11
Directed by: Johnathon Milott & Cary Murnion. Written by: Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye & Lane Skye. Starring: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Robert Maillet, Leslie Adlam, Isaiah Rockcliffe, Ryan McDonald & James McDougall.
I must admit that when I first saw that actor Kevin James was going to be starring in a horror flick, I had pretty low expectations. Now, I had only ever seen him in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I’d seen enough clips of him in Adam Sandler movies to know that he pretty much starred in films that I had no interest in at all.
However, curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to give Becky a watch and boy, am I glad that I did.
The story focuses on Becky (Lulu Wilson) who is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her mother. She’s angry at the world and has become isolated, feelings closed off apart from those of maybe disdain and contempt.
Things are made worse at the family cabin. Her father, Jeff (Joel McHale) not only brings along his girlfriend (Leslie Adlam) and her son Ty (Isaiah Rockcliffe), without telling Becky first. He also announces that he is going to marry his girlfriend.
Becky finds this a betrayal of her mother, storms off into the woods.
A group of escaped convicts headed by Dominick (Kevin James) are heading to the cabin to retrieve something important to them.
From then on the tension ramps up as the convicts take over and only Becky, hiding out in the woods, can fight back against them. It’s almost like a bloody and violent version of Home Alone. Only rather than getting bopped in the face with a paint tin, and no apparent consequences, here, there’s face mulching and eye-gouging.
The eye-gouging scene is one of the highlights as far as gore goes. I love moments that have a combination of making you cringe at something painful, but also throw in humour too. So watching someone try and cut their dangly eyeball free with a pair of safety scissors, was pretty damn entertaining.
The movie is full of these little dichotomies.
There’s the convict known only as Apex (Robert Maillet) whose imposing stature (the actor stands at around 6’10”) is just intimidating without him having to do anything. This is counterbalanced by his softly spoken, almost gentle nature and his reluctance in getting involved in violence, particularly when it pertains to violence against children.
Becky too, or rather the viewers’ feelings toward her is one of oppositions. On the one hand, you want her to succeed and take down these criminals. On the other, you can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness for the damage that more violence is doing to Becky herself. It’s a testament to not only how well written, but how well acted the character is.
Lulu Wilson steals the show.
She does a great job of portraying a flippant teen, to a scared child, to a vengeful demon, whilst maintaining an air of vulnerability too.
The soundtrack by Nima Fakhrara also suits the movie perfectly. That theme of opposition carries through very well, especially in Becky’s main theme. It conveys both an “Oh shit,” feeling and one of “Hell yeah,” as it switches up from signifying danger to then being one of exultation.
Mention needs to be made of Kevin James too because any reservations I had about him were blown away by this movie. He portrays a relentless menace throughout. His determination to complete his task no matter who stands in his way, or what damage is done (either by him or towards him) plays well. If his portrayal of the character wasn’t enough to tell you that he’s a bastard; then the swastika he has tattooed on the back of his head certainly does. He has one of the most skin-crawling and downright nasty moments in the film. It’s not one of gore or violence but in a simple line of dialogue. There’s a scene where he first encounters Jeff and his girlfriend. Upon seeing that they are of different race, he goes into a spiel about dogs and how mixing breeds makes them impure and weak. He might be talking about dogs, but the racist implications are there. It’s a truly horrifying moment.
So, I loved the story, the acting, the soundtrack and, even though I’ve not mentioned it yet, the directing and cinematography were also great. So, why only 4 stars?
Well, there are a lot of unknown elements to the movie that can be ignored, to a certain degree, do leave just a few too many unanswered questions.
Things like, when was the key placed in the house and how long has it been there?
What happened to the children?
What is the key for?
What does the interlocking triangle (Valknut) symbol represent?
Where did they find a uniform big enough to fit Apex?
I didn’t mind too much, but they do leave gaps in the movie that are never answered.
There are a couple of other convicts in the mix – played by Ryan McDonald and James McDougall – who whilst they play the characters well, are just kind of there and don’t really get to do much that makes them stand out, in comparison.
Other than that, the movie is fantastic. It’s one of the few times that I would be more than happy to watch a sequel, not just to find out what the hell the key was all about, but to find out what is next for Becky. How does she cope with everything that she’s been through and what will it do to her psychologically? For me to wonder things like this is almost unheard of – I don’t usually care about a characters fate. But here I find myself wanting more, which shows just how well written and portrayed the character of Becky was.
If you’ve not had the chance to watch Becky yet, then I highly recommend that you check it out.