One thing I’m certain of, I prefer supernatural horror to people-killing-people horror. One leaves the audience feeling immortalized, wallowing in the belief that there is something out there greater and more fantastic than humanity. The other makes you sick and sad. That being said, May is an excellent film and I have the nausea and depression to prove it.
When May was a little girl, her mother made her wear an eye patch to cover her lazy eye. Unable to make friends, she had to rely on the perceived affection of a sad little doll. But with contact lenses to improve her appearance, May (Angela Bettis) discovers people are more willing to take an interest in her. She earns the attention of her lesbian co-worker at the animal hospital (Anna Farris) and the handsome man down the street (Jeremy Sisto). But they’re all about to find out that looks are skin-deep while mental disorder goes all the way to the bone.
So-called horror fans may be disappointed by the film’s restraint, but it is director Lucky McKee’s gradual increase in tension that gives the film a lasting impact. There’s a healthy dose of gore in the end, but like May herself, it’s as if it were fighting to get out until finally its encasement exploded.
Bettis makes some bold choices in her performance, making a May weird enough to carry the plot, but identifiable enough to remind you of your “crazy” friend. And everyone has at least one certifiable mental friend. Anna Farris, whose comic timing was funnier than any of the spoofs in Scary Movie, also makes some bold and impressive acting choices in a character that falls somewhere between Playboy fantasy and Tales from the Crypt absurdity. Jeremy Sisto plays a guy slightly less disturbed than his character on Six Feet Under and, as expected, does it well. His naturalistic approach contributes heavily to the horror of the story because it helps make the outlandish plot elements believable. He was the only believable one in Wrong Turn and I think he’ll be an asset to the genre if he sticks around.
Some supporting actors come off like friends of the director, and may or may not even be actors as evidenced by their bad performances. The film occasionally slips into direct-to-video mode, with some silly indulgent moments.
Horror aside, this is a sublimely depressing film. Life has not been fair to May and while her victims are indeed just that, she is the greatest victim of them all. I shudder to think what my “crazy” friends are capable of, their parents perhaps having robbed them of self-expression, their brains giving them conflicting advice. A-
|Uh yyyeeeaaahhh.... I'm gonna have to ask you to go ahead and get lost, freak. Mmmm-kaayyyy?|
|naughty letters to the writer|
|At the end of a long day I like to prance about with fake blood on my hands too.|