Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Horror Fest #30: MAY

One of the most promising directors in horror to have come along in the past decade is Lucky McKee. His sense of style and storytelling hearkens back to the heyday of Carpenter, Romero and Hooper. May, his second feature, is a tightly written and brilliantly executed film that follows the titular character on a descent into subdued madness.

Angela Bettis, in a career-defining role, is May, a lonely and painfully shy twentysomething that works in a local vet hospital. Through flashbacks we find that she's had a difficult upbringing and can't relate to people. Her delicate, vacuum-sealed world is cracked when she meets a "perfect" guy (Jeremy Sisto) who has the potential to break her out of her shell and bring her into the real world. A creepy twist shatters the balance and sends May into a downward spiral.

Equal parts Carrie and Cronenberg, May has the atmospheric tension of a stage play. There is no real protagonist, as May becomes more entrenched in her madness, and supporting characters that had no redeeming qualities to begin with start becoming parts for May's grand scheme.

The scariest idea the film brings up is that this is all totally possible. How many of us knew that one girl or boy in school, the antisocial loner, made fun of and ignored daily? What happens to them when they grow up and nothing changes? May could very well be someone you know, just outside your peripherals, waiting patiently for the right person to come along.

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