Angela Bettis as May
Jeremy Sisto as Adam
Anna Faris as Polly
By The Zombie Master, Lee Roberts
I love independent horror films. In Hollywood, you do not have to appreciate or even like horror to write a script and get it on the screen. They have formulas and rules to tell them what will and what won’t work. True fans of the genre haven’t been told what the rules are and what formulas they have to adhere to. They are just trying to make the type of movie that they would like to see in a theater. The good news about this is that the independent horror films are the ones that push the envelope. It’s not that they go outside the box but rather they never put themselves into one to begin with. The bad news is that they do not get wide theater releases so if you are not paying attention, the really good ones will go unnoticed. May is one such film.
This film starts by hitting the pertinent points in the youth of a very lonely girl. We then see this girl as a woman named (as if you hadn’t already guessed) May (Angela Bettis). This poor girl had no friends growing up so her over-protective mother gave her a doll with a piece of wisdom attached; “If you can’t find a friend, make one.” As an adult, May still has this doll as her best friend. She has never had a boyfriend, never been out on a date, and never had any real friends to speak of.
We notice early on that this girl has a keen observance of body parts. She might like the arms of one person or the neck of another. In fact, she makes it a point to meet a man who she says has “beautiful hands”. We also notice early on that she is weird but you do not know whether it comes from a sheltered naivety or whether she is just crazy as a loon.
May has a failed attempt at snagging the “beautiful hand” man (mental note: never take love advice from a doll) and a jealousy episode with a lesbian friend. She is “hurt” emotionally one too many times and then things get serious. Hint: remember the advice that dear old mom gave. I shall say no more.
This is just an is an awesome movie. It is funny, twisted, sad, gory, and disturbing all within the same 93 minutes. Who accomplished this feat of cinematic alchemy? I am glad you asked. Lucky McKee (writer and director) is a genius that is finally getting his just due. If you can find it, his first foray into filmmaking was All Cheerleaders Die but if you watched the Masters of Horror series on Showtime, you saw his excellent work on Sick Girl.
I cannot let my self close without giving praise to Angela Bettis. She did a good job with Girl, Interrupted and the TV remake of Carrie but her work in May is fantastic. It leads on to amusingly wonder whether Angela actually needs therapy or not.
I used to long for Hollywood to look to the independents to see what we as horror fans really want. Every time they do that though, they seem destined to screw up a good thing. Now I just want the horror fans to support the independent filmmaker by viewing their movies and, if they are good, pass the word along. The elites call it a “cult following”. I call it giving recognition were it is deserved.