By Steven Wandling
Home invasion horror-thriller Becky is so much better than it has any right to be. Thanks to standout performances by 14 year old Lulu Wilson (The Haunting of Hill House, Ouija: Origin of Evil) and comedian Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop,The King of Queens), playing extremely against type as a psychotic Neo-Nazi, the over-the-top gruesome action is anchored by the cat-and-mouse game that ensues between these two unlikely foes for most of the run time of the film. What sounds almost like a joke on paper is actually a tense bloody thriller that proves to be a helluva good time.
It would be a great disservice to talk about Becky and not take a look at the performer who brought her to life. Lulu Wilson, at only 14, stands her own against every adult in the room and outshines them all in an almost effortless fashion. A willing suspension of disbelief shouldn’t allow an audience to believe a young teenage girl could single handedly take on a pack of vicious ex-cons, but Wilson more than pulls it off. To say it’s an absolute blast watching young Becky use items from her treehouse fort and wage war like a hard R Kevin McCallister is an understatement.
On the flip side of the casting coin is Becky‘s biggest gamble. Family-friendly comedian Kevin James as Dominick, the leader of a group of escaped white supremacist convicts hellbent on finding a mysterious key that’s somewhere on Becky’s family’s property is definitely more than a new look for him. It’s the kind of casting news that should make you scratch your head and quite possibly roll your eyes, but that would be doing the actor a great disservice. I’ve personally never enjoyed his work, but James nails it. He plays Dominick with a quiet calm that is more terrifying than if he would have went over the top with it. He’s reserved, well spoken, dangerous, and utterly insane.
Becky, directed by Johnathan Milott and Cary Murnion (Cooties), delivers an over-the-top take on the home invasion film while still playing the events absolutely straight. The violence both Becky and Dominick commit against each other is visceral, real, and bloody as hell. There’s nothing heightened about it at all. What’s heightened is the entire situation. Becky is a teen girl, not even old enough for a learner’s permit, so some may attempt to argue that they just can’t find enough willing suspension of disbelief to get to a place where she could systemically murder these thugs one by one by using her wits and channelling her rebellious teenage anger. If that’s your argument I’m calling shenanigans. The same people probably never miss a Marvel movie.
The amount of fun I had while watching Becky shattered all previous expectations by a wide margin. I expected to not only fully dislike the film, but also to completely and openly deride it. The casting of Kevin James as the villain sounded like John Travolta in The Fan. It actually took two viewings for me to get over my preconceived bullshit, but I’m really glad I did. Becky is more than worth your time. Everything works perfectly here. The cinematography contains some really beautiful shots and use of lighting and the score from Nima Fakhara (The Signal) is a stellar pulsating electronic beauty that really propels the action forward.
Naysayers be damned, Becky is a well directed suspenseful action packed little movie that goes over the top with gore in glorious fashion. Teenage rebellion never looked quite as good as it does here when put to good use dispatching neo-nazis in gruesome fashion. The relationship between Becky and Dominick really works and as the movie progresses it’s clear that they may have a little more in common in terms of violent tendencies than one would guess at first glance. The score keeps you engaged and eager for the next kill and the whole affair should leave you wondering when we might be lucky enough to see young Becky again.
Thanks so much for reading. Becky is now available for rent and purchase on VOD. Check it out and share this with your horror loving friends! Follow creepylovely on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you would like to write for us just shoot us a private message or DM on social media. Stay lovely! Stay creepy!