Like a twisted gory version of ‘Home Alone’, a 13 year-old rebellious girl channels her teen angst when a weekend getaway at a lake house with her father (Joel McHale – ‘Community‘) turns deadly. Teen angst and emotional flashbacks to Becky’s mother’s death make for great triggers when having to deal with these killer convicts who decided to screw with the wrong girl. Becky’s done with being daddy’s little girl and turns into a Hanna/Atomic Blonde hybrid killing machine.
“Becky with the good hair” takes herself a bit too serious. Director duo Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (‘Bushwick‘) step away from the cliché “girl gone wild” meets “final girl” by amping up the violence to unprecedented levels, as if this was some sort of John Wick-spin off about his daughter. Adding a dog in the mix to complete that comparison, results in some unnecessary deplorable animal cruelty. Their thriller fails in being more than just a gory revenge thriller. It’s never exciting or thrilling, and peaks half way in to then just fizzle into a mediocre final act.
The neo-nazi convicts lead by a covered-in-tattoos Kevin James, are looking for some sort of key that’s missing from its usual hiding spot, and Becky (Lulu Wilson – ‘The Glorias‘) is the one who’s found it. What follows the house jacking is a series of well choreographed and filmed crafty kill sequences, in which our heroine uses pencils, rulers and a motorboat engine to poke, stab and turn nazi scum into a pulpy bloody mess.
It’s nice to see James step away from his Paul Blart-persona and the physical comedy that comes with it, even though looking menacing didn’t showcase anything more than just that. Wilson, who barely carries the film, in which she mostly screams, frowns and acts like an annoying teenager seems to be holding back the crazy survival instinct that’s required for a role like this. McHale and Amanda Brugel (‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘), who plays Becky’s stepmom-to-be, are wasted as there’s no emotional build up to their inevitable suffering.
An okay directorial effort, that excels in its editing and score, while the writing is below par. This is unfortunate, because there’s been some memorable new indie-thrillers released in the last couple of months, while Becky is just a plain forgettable rollercoaster-ride that you want to disembark as soon as the final showdown starts, while totally ignoring the central mystery that clearly didn’t have a purpose to start with. An unsatisfying hollow slaughter filled with disposable characters, that just exists for those who love excessive blood splatter.
Rialto Distribution will release ‘Becky’ in cinemas all over Australia on September 10. (Victoria will follow post-lockdown)
Review – ‘Becky’
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), September 8, 2020. Rating: TBC. Running time: 93 min.
PRODUCTION: A Rialto Distribution release of a Yale Productions, Boulderlights production in association with BondIt Media Capital, SSS Entertainment, SSS Film Capital. Producers: Jordan Beckerman, Jordan Yale Levine, J.D. Lifshitz, Raphael Margules, Russ Posternak. Executive producers: Kurt Ebner, Arianne Fraser, Lawrence Greenberg, Rohan Gurbaxani, Matthew Helderman, Gigi Lacks, Berry Meyerowitz, Stephen Morgenstern, Delphine Perrier, Michael J. Rothstein, Roz Rothstein, Jeff Sackman, Shaun Sanghani, Galen Smith, Luke Taylor.
CREW: Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion. Screenplay: Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye. Editor: Alan Canant. Cinematography: Greta Zozula. Music: Nima Fakhrara.
WITH: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Amanda Brugel, Robert Maillet, Isaiah Rockcliffe, Ryan McDonald, James McDougall, Leslie Adlam.