Review: Becky – Nonsensical Gore Is The Only Selling Point

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The only point for watching is to see occasional gore, else there is absolutely no reason for its existence.

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Starting off with a confused showcase of how a high school hallway fight is the same as a Nazi gang knifing a man in a prison yard, Becky is certainly a film of déjà vu moments that come together to create a nonsensical plot with underwhelming characters.

Becky is a film that’s a bit ridiculous to even begin to describe. The story follows the classic half-orphaned, therefore troubled and very susceptible to violence, teenage girl called Becky (Lulu Wilson). Her father Jeff (Joel McHale) brings her to their old cabin in the woods (cliche much) where she is met with the disappointment of finding his girlfriend (Amanda Brugel) and her son. Much to Becky’s dismay, her father also announces his new engagement, prompting Becky to run off and hide in her woodland shack with her favourite dog, who is similar to her and not a fan of strangers. All the while, a quartet of Neo-Nazi prison escapees, led by Dominick (Kevin James), have found their way to this same cabin to find a key and, as imagined, horrifying violence ensues, with the film’s death count exceeding that of named characters.

This film features good promise in terms of acting ability, but falls short of being anything spectacular in the long run. Lulu Wilson is able to showcase her talents particularly well after Becky lets loose, but is stilted in the first half of the film due to conversations that feel very unreal. Joel McHale is the same and is not around long enough for any different opinion to really occur. Amanda Brugel presents a very realistic performance while spending most of her screen time sat in one spot, but it is perhaps Kevin James’s performance that is the most peculiar. The character of Dominick is really hard to understand for a few reasons: his motivations are unclear, he has a strange and only lightly explained fatherhood complex, and his ability to influence and intimidate people is difficult to interpret when stood next to his inferior who is more than several feet taller than him. The only thing that is obvious about Dominick is that he might be a Nazi, due to the swastika symbol tattooed square on the back of his head.

The plot is confusing and the reasons most of the characters really do anything is not clear in the slightest. It seems as though the directors’ focus was more on creating their own goriest adventure, as Becky comes across much like an effigy of Home Alone‘s Kevin McAllister than anything else. In fact, this film fails to bring about anything that is particularly new. The setting, the characters, the scenario is all something that has been seen plenty of times before and is not even done particularly well here.

That being said, Becky had some cinematic delight. While some of the gory prosthetics left little to be desired, there was one shot in particular that contained a ruler, the ground, a gaping neck wound, and a lot of blood that was actually very pleasant from a visual standpoint. The use of isolated sounds throughout were well used, including the increased tempo of a shop bell, a lit pattering of paw prints, and a delicate crinkle of fire that juxtaposed the gory scenes that were taking place all around. This contrast between gentle noises and horrific actions were effective, even more so when used in conjunction with the ominous music that adds anxiety and is made solely of breaths and gasps.

While generally disappointing in terms of its content, Becky does successfully achieve aspects of gore. These moments would often be superfluous in better films, but this emphasis on gruesome detail possibly makes it the only reason worth watching.

Becky, directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, is distributed in the UK via Vertigo Releasing, certificate 18. It’s available to watch on digital platforms from the 28th September.

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A philosophy student with a penchant for uncertain puns

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