BECKY Is Like a Pop Punk Version of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
Plot: A troubled thirteen year old girl and her father are attacked by a group of nazi prison escapees who get more than they bargained for in Becky. Think Three Ninjas but with horror and gore, less comedy, and only one ninja who doesn't actually do karate. Actually it's nothing like Three Ninjas but sometimes it's nice to just remind ourselves about the trials Rocky, Tum-tum and Colt once faced.
Directed by: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion (Cooties)
Starring: Lulu Wilson (Annabelle Creation), Kevin James (Paul Blart), Joel McHale (Ted), Robert Maillet (300)
There is only one way to appropriately begin this review. KEVIN JAMES AS A MURDEROUS NAZI?!?? The King of Queens guy? Paul Blart? What in the ass? There, now that we have that out of the way I can pleasantly inform you that it works.
Becky (which just hit VOD last week and you can rent for $3.99) plays out in a lot of ways like a pop punk version Wes Craven's Last House on The Left. Aside from just the obvious reasons related to the plot. It's dark. It's angsty. It's also here to party. There's vibrant music and color that tie well into the world of a thirteen year old girls aesthetic. Then suddenly someone's getting a ruler shoved inside of their neck repeatedly. The greatest accomplishment is maybe that none of this feels forced or gimmicky. All these themes somehow feel natural to the plot.
The little girl, Becky (Wilson) is the center of the film obviously, going through every range of emotion you could ask any actress to deal with over the course of a projects running time. Lulu Wilson absolutely crushes it. She's a badass and absolutely someone to keep an eye out for in the horror genre and wherever else. She's got Samara Weaving type charisma.
The draw for Becky initially of course is seeing the lovable Kevin James play a serial killer. It's just so hard to imagine at first.
James plays a subdued, ring leader type. He's the brains and the boss of the bad guys operation. He runs things with an iron fist despite his right hand man Apex (Robert Maillet) looking like he could literally eat a tank with Kevin James inside of it. Seriously, this guy Apex is a fucking specimen. He looks like Bane come to live. His fucking neck should have to pay property taxes. You could stack the entire Marvel catalogue up next to each other on VHS and his neck would still be wider. It's really impressive. Apex is a nice microcosm of the film because while he's big and scary and has done horrible things, he's also weirdly loveable. The actor has an Arnold Schwarzenegger type charm to him and I hope to see Robert Maillet in more roles.
Kevin James doesn't go on any super psycho, scene chewing rants making crazy eyes or anything. He's very subdued until he's not. Partly because the plot has him do such horrendous things early. Probably an intentional move by the writers to separate you emotionally from the actor. It works. It's not everyday you pat someone on the back and say "Hey man, you can really pull off the skinhead ring leader vibe. Good work." But that's acting and Kevin James somehow managed to make you forget he was Kevin James. A very ballsy choice by himself and the filmmakers to go for it.
Becky will have you show up to see Kevin James as a serial killer but you'll stay for some suspenseful home invasion action and impressive gore highlights. There's one scene specifically you'll want to keep an eye on.
Most of all Becky is as entertaining as it is full of angst. Like a good Blink-182 song. 7.5/10
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