Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recommendation Of The Week

I've got a good one for you this week. It's one of my favorite indie horror films and being that a good portion of the movie takes place around Halloween time, it's the perfect time of the year for you to check this one out!

May (2002)

May is a modern take on the classic Frankenstein story, where the ole doc is replaced with a shy and peculiar little girl named May. May has been lazy eyed her whole life and this has really prevented her from making any friends. The cruel bastards at her school call her names like 'Pirate', thanks to the patch she sports. One year for her birthday, May's mother gives her a doll she made under the notion that if you can't find any friends, you gotta make one yourself. May's all grown up now and she still cherishes the doll and, after a failed attempt at a relationship, May takes her mother's advice a little too seriously and sets out to create the perfect human companion.

I absolutely love this movie. May is one of the most fascinating and interesting characters i've ever seen depicted on the screen, and that's all thanks to the actress, Angela Bettis, who i'll admit i've had a bit of a thing for ever since I first saw this a few years back. May is the cutest, evilest, most interesting to watch character in at least the last decade of film and is without question a new icon of horror. There's never a dull moment with her and nearly every scene she inhabits is absolute gold. She's shy and innocent, but if ya fuck with her, you're gettin the horns.

While it doesn't really become a horror film in the traditional sense until the latter half, that's ok. In fact, the stuff leading up to the mayhem and bloodshed is perhaps even more entertaining. Watching May interact with her love interest, Adam (Jeremy Sisto) and her veterinary co-worker Polly (Anna Faris), is consistently amusing and engaging. Ya see, May has fallen for Adam, a devout Argento fan, and he seems like the perfect guy for such a weird little girl. Turns out, she's just a little too weird for even him and this realization that there is no perfect guy out there for her sets her upon a path of destruction. Her descent into madness is funny, frightening, and as Roger Ebert put it, "oddly moving." I couldn't have said it better myself. While there's no question May is a savage monster, her intentions come from a good place and her quest to quell her loneliness is, indeed, moving.

Another thing about the movie I really like is the music. Both the song choices and the score are totally awesome and add so much to the film. If you've ever had any doubts as to just how much music plays a role in a movie, it's films like this that make it pretty damn clear. While bad music can ruin a movie, good music can make a good movie that much better. The score and original songs for May were all written by Jaye Barnes Luckett of the band Poperratic.

There's absolutely nothing that I can find wrong with this movie and I consider it a masterpiece of modern horror. Some people have had problems with the final frame of the movie, but if I can again quote Roger Ebert, "(The movie contains) a final shot that would get laughs in another kind of film, but May earns the right to it, and it works, and we understand it." I don't always agree with ya, Rog, but you were spot on with that assessment.

On a final note, here's a little fun fact for ya. While we do hear May's last name, Canady, mentioned briefly in the film, we never are told her middle name. If you look it up online, you'll see writer and director Lucky McKee (this was his first feature...check out his other films Sick Girl and The Woods) gave her the middle name of Dove. May Dove Canady. Think about it. She's so sweet that she just might be. I would've been your friend May, if you'd only given me a shot.

Alright, i've got time, one more little fun fact. This one's for those who have seen the movie. In the movie Brick, there's an awesome little blink and you'll miss it homage to May. During a Halloween party scene in the film, a little girl walks by dressed in the exact same costume May sports on Halloween night, complete with cooler on wheels! I just made the trek up to the library so I could rent Brick and pull this video from it, so watch it or else!

If you only see one movie that I recommend, make it this one! Don't piss May off! Behind that seductive smile lies the heart of a slasher!


I also recommend :
Story Of Ricky
Near Dark
Castle Freak
The Gate
Three Extremes - Cut

If you get around to seeing May or any of the movies above, post comments and let me know what ya thought of them!

1 comment:

trixareforjen said...

I’ve been patiently waiting for this blog to come to be and I knew it was just a matter of time. I have many things to say about this movie. There was something so tragically romantic about this movie that really just captured me. All of the innocent flaws of May’s character in the beginning of the movie charmed me and made me feel in some way connected to the character. The movie was crafted in such a great way to portray all of May’s awkward attributes that I could feel embarrassed for her. Her struggle to be accepted is a struggle anyone who’s ever been in high school has experienced at one point or another. Her mother gives May the doll she had made for herself as a child and assures May after her failed attempts to make friends it is always feasible to make your own. May’s relationship with the doll that is encased in glass is purely aesthetic in the sense that the doll acts as a prosthetic does for an amputee. The doll is an emotional crutch for May and after her failed attempts to be accepted by someone who she can have a physical relationship with to fulfill her need to touch and be touched by something real. After her failed attempt at human connection and after the doll is destroyed, May is no longer hopeful. And her emotional crutch is no longer a reliable option. May resorts to the advice of her mother; to make her own friend. To fulfill her need for a human relationship, May puts a twist on making her own friend. She collects her favorite parts of various different people in her life and uses her sewing talent to literally make her own friend. Although May is technically a psycho serial killer, you can’t help but feel for her emptiness. The last scene although it was comical, comforted me in a strange way. This movie was utterly impressive for an Indy movie. It is definitely going to be added to my short list of favorites.