May

There are so many different creatures that go bump in the night. Ghosts. Goblins. Demons. Boogey Men. The entire purpose of the horror genre is to play on our worst fears. Most rely on startling jumps and jeers, axe wielding psychopaths and supernatural monsters to terrify, but a good film will delve deeper, will touch down on something real, more personal. Death. Loss. Loneliness. All of those fears that are attainable, ones that we’ve all experienced and endured.

This brings me to my choice for the week.

“If you can’t find a friend, make one.” ~Mother

SYNOPSIS

Original Movie Poster May Dove Canady is the ugly ducking, the outcast. Growing up with a lazy eye that forced her to wear an eye patch made her the little girl everyone looked at and stared, made fun or worse – just ignored. Doomed to be friendless forever, her mother presents her with a glass encased doll that she had made years ago, named Suzie. Years later, May, still awkward and socially ostrichsized, works at a veterinary clinic and keeps primarily to herself. That is, until she meets Adam, the handsome mechanic. No surprise that she quickly becomes obsessed with him and he quickly pushes her away. With everyone turning away from her, she takes the words of her mother to heart and goes about creating her own friend from the favorite pieces of the ones that have rejected her.

THOUGHTS

May & Suzie

There is a softness to this film. While there is blood and gore, killings a plenty, there is more beneath the surface. Most slasher movies have a silent, relentless monster that terrorizes delinquent youth, but here we’re sympathetic for May – we feel what she feels. We know the pain that she suffers from being ridiculed by her peers when she only wants their approval. She wants to be seen. The script is excellent, it combines quirky humor with strange confessions and most important, it knows when to be silent. So much so that in many of the scenes, you’ll squirm a little uncomfortably at May and her fumbling, mumbling, stuttering demeanor while everyone around her only stares.

Angela Bettis is the most notable performance from the lot and there are a few recognizable actors in the bunch. Both Anna Faris (The House Bunny, Scary Movie franchise) and Jeremy Sisto (Dexter, Six Feet Under) are enjoyable to watch as supporting cast, playing the few who befriend and betray the shy and disturbed May, but it is Angela’s portrayal of the lead that really makes the movie shine.

When Two Become One

The story has a very slow build up, but I find that in a lot of movies this can be done quite effectively as long as the pay off in the end is worth it. We experience life through May’s eyes before we see her snap… and she does. The murderous rampage comes on Halloween, when she creates a costume very much like Suzie’s dress and takes pieces of people to make the perfect companion. There are hints of a mental disorder throughout – depressive disorder is the most obvious, but a possible dissociative disorder with the continued existence of the imaginary friend (Suzie, who talks to her often) well into adulthood and then eventual merging of the two.

VERDICT

I really enjoyed this movie. Was it scary? No, not necessarily – but it was creepy and disturbing with a hint of sweetness and I think that’s why I liked it as much as I did. A strong script and core concept paired with great acting makes this a recommended film.

Netflix Rating: ***1/2
My Rating: ****

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