By: John M Jerva

REVIEW: Becky

STARRING: Kevin James, Joel McHale, Amanda Bruegel, and Lulu Wilson

DIRECTED BY: Jonathon Milott and Cary Murnion

Official Synopsis: A teenager’s weekend at a lake house with her father takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts wreaks havoc on their lives.

THE REVIEW: I have to say one thing first hand. With the pandemic delaying all major blockbusters for a significant length of time, this unusual time period has certainly given the independent films more of a chance to shine since they all pretty much premiere on Digital and VOD so audiences can watch them from their homes. Films like Debt Collectors and Guns Akimbo probably had the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience who are seeking for all forms of new and quarantined worthy entertainment in these trying times.

This brings us to the very niche heavy film Becky which hails from the very creative directing team of Jonathon Milott and Cary Murnion who up till now have been best known for helming the horror comedy Cooties (love that name btw) and the rousing and stripped down thriller Bushwick which features Dave Bautista in one of his best acting performances. These two gentlemen definitely have a knack for making films that do not follow the status quo and I must say that when I viewed Bushwick, I was expecting something entirely different but was pleasantly surprised with what I got. Even if the ending was depressing to say the least.

Now let’s talk about Becky which is the duo’s third film to date and with it, they have done it again by delivering one of the most shock filled horror-thrillers of recent memory. Make no mistake, Becky is not for everyone and a lot of people will probably be turned off by the ultra-violence at hand but if you stick with it and open your mind, then you’ll be in for one serious jolt inducing good time.

The film starts off simple enough as we are introduced to our protagonist Becky who is a teenager that we can see from the get go who has some issues to iron out. She’s being interviewed by a police officer and a psychiatrist about the events that we will bare witness too and from there things go into hyperdrive.

Becky, played by Wilson in a bona fide breakout role, is brought to a cabin in the woods by her father Jeff (played by Joel McHale) who wants to reconnect with his estranged daughter. The family is suffering from loss and to make things worse, Jeff has a new significant other in Kayla (Amanda Bruegel). Becky is less than thrilled of course.

Things go pretty much as you’d expect but unfortunately, trying to heel broken family bonds is the least of this family’s worries as, wouldn’t you know it, a group of hardened and ruthless criminals led by Neo-Nazi Dominick (James) descends upon the cabin and the family in search of a mysterious key that means something very important.

Dominick is ruthless to say the least and he wastes no time in torturing the family mentality and physically. He wants what he wants and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Unbeknownst to Dominick and his merry band of cutthroats, little Becky is about to give them a run for their money and show them that she is even more diabolical than you can ever imagine. It is here where the horror comes into play because what she will do will leave you staggering.

When I first saw the trailer for the film, I knew it wasn’t your average, form a line horror flick and boy was I right. In what I can best describe as Home Alone for not the faint of heart, Becky goes into battle mode and using anything and everything around her to get the job done, she takes out each criminal with brutal ferocity. It gets to the point where it is pretty disturbing to know that a teenage girl is capable of what she can do. It gets bloody and I mean horror movie, don’t eat anything before you watch it bloody and with that in mind, Becky is one of the most satisfying movie watches of the year although it’s a tough one like I said that will turn a lot of people away. There is a scene that involves an eyeball…. you’ve be warned.

A lot was made of Kevin James’ performance as the brutal and ruthless Dominick . We are used to seeing James as the comedic and lovable teddy bear goof ball in such light fair as King of Queens and Paul Blart: Mall Cop but here he throws that persona right out the window and torches it with gasoline. James definitely proves that he is more than a cute, funny guy and with his performance, it’s career defining in what he brings to the table. I think I’ll never look at him the same again. But that’s a good thing.

Like I stated, a lot was made about James but even with all that, his performance isn’t the one that sets the screen on fire. For that we have Miss Wilson who brings it with all barrels blazing as Becky. I have to admit that I haven’t heard of the young actress before this film but let me tell you, I know who she is now. Wilson brings a very unsteady feeling to her role of Becky and the actress can act even without saying a word. The expressions she induced says a thousand words.

It’s truly a tour de force performance and I dare say that it could be Oscar caliber for the young lady and she’s gonna have a hard time topping this role. It’s her performance that sells the film because let’s face it, it has to as the film is called Becky.

The rest of the cast compliment Wilson and James just fine and McHale, who is also known for being the funny man, delivers a very tragic performance as Becky’s father Jeff. He gets a lot of the brutality of the film and he brings out a different side of himself just as James does.

The film clicks in at just over 90 minutes so there isn’t much time wasted in stuff we don’t need. It pretty much tells you to buckle up and hang on because shits about to get real. Milott and Murnion make no excuses for the type of film they have created and they have brought us, who are in need of entertainment, something to discuss well after the film’s credits have rolled.

To sum it up, Becky has been released at just the right time. Too many times, movies that don’t stick to the norm are lost amidst a sea of conventional films and while all movies deserve a voice, films like Becky deserves the attention that they get. The film is also hitting Drive-Ins this weekend so maybe it’ll see the success that The Wretched did the last few weeks. It’s a hard watch and mostly for what Becky is capable of and the fact that she might be worse than the supposed worst of the worst that society has to offer.

Genre fans should gobble this one up and hopefully enough strong word of mouth reaches others who might not normally seek this kind of film out. Becky has arrived and with the fury and ferocity that overpowers anything that Stallone or Arnie can do on screen. Check it out and give it a shot as this film is hands down one of the best 2020 has had to offer thus far.

VERDICT: 4.7 Out of 5 Stars

ACTION-FLIX APPROVED!!

Becky is now playing on Digital, VOD and select cinemas and Drive-Ins courtesy of Quiver Distribution.

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