May (2002)

reviewed by
David N. Butterworth

A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2004 David N. Butterworth
**1/2 (out of ****)

From its opening scream of pain to its tender finishing touch, Lucky McKee's "May" is one weird horror flick. Weird is also the best way to describe its titular heroine, a strange little girl who grows up without any friends on account of her "lazy eye," for which she's forced to wear an eye patch and ridiculed by her classmates on account of it. Her only companion is a scary looking doll her mother (Merle Kennedy) gives to her and to whom she converses as if it were alive (you'll wait the whole movie fearing for it to break free of its presentation case confines). The socially immature May Canady (Angela Bettis) works at an animal hospital with her sexually aggressive lesbian co-worker Polly (Anna Faris of the "Scary Movie" series). Desperate for genuine friendship, May spots the good-looking Adam whom she slowly moves in on. But even though Adam (played by the popular and prolific Jeremy Sisto, who already has seven 2004 films under his belt!) admits to liking weird, May is ultimately too weird for him. From its deliberate, unhurried beginnings "May" builds to a finale of "Frankenstein"-esque proportions, as the misfit May goes to horrific lengths for companionship. Director McKee sets the stage very well--May admires Adam's hands, Polly's neck, and Polly's lover's legs--but there-s a transition in the film, when May goes from outcast to ghoul, which doesn't quite work, where her motivations seem more cinematic than realistic, given her character. Bettis performs very well in a role that's reminiscent of Stephen King's "Carrie" (not surprisingly, she played Carrie White in the 2002 television remake of Brian De Palma's film of the same name) but the stitched-together denouement, while definitely disturbing, feels contrived and less effective than the rest of this interesting little creepfest.

David N. Butterworth

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