For some, this movie will be hard to get past the casting of Kevin James as its lead villain, a man synonymous with lukewarm comedy, but given that fellow comedian, Simon Pegg had been initially touted the role for, one can start to see that the filmmakers never intended this film to be an out and out horror/thriller and would have their tongues firmly planted in the black comedy buccal. The fact that Community’s Joel McHale is also attached to the film only supports this notion further.
There are the subtle comparisons to Wes Craven’s Last House On The Left with its home invasion at the hands of some escaped convicts, but perhaps the better differentiation is that of Home Alone with the DIY skills wretched up to some gloriously gory and macabre moments.
The premise of the film rests solely on the darkly disturbing Becky, a character that relies on the strength of the performance from Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Annabelle: Creation, House On Haunted Hill), who’s calibre of movies alone should tell you that she’s no stranger to mayhem and dread. Wilson owns this film and appears to relish her turn as bratty, teenager with a broken heart, and flipping to ‘seriously don’t fuck with me’ menace. I’ll admit that I had my reservations, especially for a time when the film appeared balanced on her grief and pain from the loss of her mother. So easily it could have walked the path of predictability, but the killer switch comes from that ‘eye for an eye’ moment in the film when everything turns on its head and you believe her inner rage and turmoil as it is ejected to the surface.
From there on in, you’re along for the ride and just want her anarchy to reign supreme.
The premise of the film has Becky going away with her estranged Dad (McHale) to her old family lake house retreat, only to be welcomed by her Dad’s fiance, Kayla (Amanda Brugel – Jason X) and her son, Ty. Let’s just say that Becky isn’t a fan of the suggested idea of a blended family, but that’s the least of her troubles when escaped prisoner and Neo-Nazi (as if to make James’ role more intimidating), Dominick and his crew come knocking for some hidden trophy.
There are some great moments towards the beginning of the movie where the captured images portray Lulu’s life in juxtaposition to the life of an inmate, suggesting her imprisonment from the world around her. It is this wall that she has placed around her to protect her or isolate her from everything that will be torn down, bit only in the wake of some devastating ordeal.
It’s the anarchic moments that truly lift this film from revenge flick doldrums however, as directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion amp up the special effects and bring home the gore, and with it unleashing Becky’s zealot for death and destruction, serving as an outlet for her inner rage. Peppered with Nima Fakhrara’s kicking score, these moments are a mix of camp and gross out horror, the pick of the bunch going to a certain outboard motor.
Don’t necessarily judge the book from its cover.
Becky may appear to be your usual revenge home invasion flick but its pulse is beating pure mayhem and delight that will suit fans of gore.
Kevin James may not fit the bill as the film’s villain, but this is Lulu Wilson’s movie and she owns her titular role as the teenager on the brink of rage and turmoil.
When she is unleashed, there is no holding back.
- Saul Muerte