Saturday, January 30, 2016

May (2002)

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Directed by: Lucky McKee

Staring: Angela Bettis
Jeremy Sisto
Anna Faris

Plot: "A lonely young woman traumatized by a difficult childhood and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her is sent into a murderous tailspin."-IMDB

 How I Discovered It:  The first time I saw a poster for May was actually the last time I went to my childhood video rental, Academy Video in Stamford, CT.  It had a MUCH better selection than Blockbuster.

It's kind of appropriate that this is where I first saw May's memorable poster.  Academy Video is where I would sneak into the forbidden horror section just to get freaked out by the VHS covers of '80's slasher films.  

Exhibit A:

My Iconic Moment: The problem with choosing one moment that sums up a movie is that it often involves spoilers.  The most iconic moment in May comes in the last twenty seconds.  If you've seen the movie you know exactly what I'm talking about.

However, this climactic image is supported by several other scenes in which May converses with her "best friend," a doll that her mother made when she (the mother) was a little girl. 

Who Should Embrace It: Many fans of horror will happily embrace May.  However, it is a slow boil.  What separates this movies from the Scream wannabes of the late 90's / early 00's is the first hour in which we see the debilitatingly awkward May blunder through social situations as she attempts to connect with people.  These sequences look less like Halloween and more like early episodes of The Office.

It's not until the last third of the film that the blood really starts to flow, and I was completely fine with that.  We were given almost sixty minutes of character study to see exactly why May does what she does in the last half hour.  By this point the filmmakers have won us over to her side.  To be honest, the slaughter was the least interesting part of the film.  Only one of the deaths was particularly iconic (practically given away in the trailer).  The rest were fairly typical and bloodless, possibly due to budget.

(Spoiler) People who will stop watching a movie the second an animal is hurt/killed will be wise to rent something else.  While the cat is killed offscreen (no one wants to see that), its body repeatedly pops up throughout the movie. (Spoiler Ends)

May is a quieter breed of horror movie.  It is a film for people who want a heavy focus on character along with creepy moments.  There are plenty of horror movies that "show what makes a killer tick" but May goes above and beyond to deliver.