“Becky” – Movie Review

Home invasion films often force to ponder how far we would go in a desperate, life or death situation. Would we have the strength to fight an intruder?

Would we have the resolve to kill someone if we have to? Becky takes these questions and runs very far with them into brutal and visceral territory. To say that this movie is Home Alone meets The Purge, is actually quite an understatement.

We all like to imagine what we’d do in this situation, But until it happens, we can never truly know.

Weekend From Hell
The titular Becky (Lulu Wilson) is a young teenage girl whose life is already spiraling downward. Having recently lost her mother to cancer, she feels that her father Jeff (Joel McHale) is moving too fast with his new girlfriend, already planning to get married.

Becky is already quite upset at the idea of spending a weekend with her new soon-to-be stepmother and her son, when a group of escaped Neo-Nazi convicts, led by the charismatic Dominick (Kevin James), comes upon their house, searching for some sort of key that was hidden there years earlier.

It quickly becomes the darkest cat and mouse game ever.

Minor Spoilers Ahead

Awakening the Inner Psychopath
As they hold the family hostage, Becky was fortunate enough to be out in the woods behind the house, thus putting her at a tactical advantage to evade Dominick’s henchmen, as well as strike back at them with a feral ferocity.

All the pain and anger that’s been festering in her for the past year finally comes to its boiling point and these Aryan Brotherhood criminals face a wrath that none would expect from a 13 year old girl.

In a departure from his normally comedic roles, Kevin James plays a frightening villain, but his character is nowhere near as scary as Becky ends up being.

Kevin McCallister’s got nothing on Becky!

Perhaps it’s more to do with the fact that she’s just a kid, but her kills are far more disturbing.

Dominick tends to kill people just by shooting them, while Becky stabs them with improvised weapons, even creating a makeshift flamethrower.

It gets to the point that even some of Dominick’s men are disturbed by what this child has done. All of this feeds into the film’s primary theme that trauma leaves us forever changed.

Lulu Wilson may only be 14, but her horror resume is quite impressive with appearances in Annabelle: Creation, Oujia: Origin of Evil, and The Haunting of Hill House.

Holds Itself Together…Mostly
Both Kevin James and Joel McHale play against their normal type and genre. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan always said that comedians can usually do drama, but that the opposite isn’t always true.

Becky proves his theory correct as Kevin James plays a convincingly sinister Neo-Nazi, selling his with his zeal, believing himself to be a prophet of sorts. McHale begins the movie trying to be a fun dad to an upset daughter.

Between the bald head, beard, and change in his overall demeanor, Kevin James is almost unrecognizable.

His normal sense of humor comes out, but when the terror begins, it’s a bit difficult to take him seriously. Coming from a fan of his work on The Soup and Community, where his sincerity was often clouded with sarcasm, it’s just hard to not see that everywhere, so it’s not really the movie’s fault.

The only other issue is, while we can understand how Becky could go full homicidal psychopath, the way that she’s able to outmatch and kill several convicts in hand-to-hand does seem rather farfetched.

However, the point really isn’t the realism, it’s the transformation she undergoes, so it’s a minor issue that can be forgiven.

Overall, Becky is a tense, gory, and all around visceral thriller that holds nothing back. Its kills and gore are the stuff of grindhouse legend. It’s currently streaming on VOD, but if you’ve got a drive in theater nearby, you can find it playing there too!

One silver lining of this whole pandemic and lockdown is that drive-in theaters have been making a comeback!

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