Becky (2020) reviews and overview

 
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[Total: 5   Average: 3.2/5]

‘There once was a little girl…’

Becky is a 2020 American home invasion thriller feature film about a teenager’s weekend with her father that turns nasty when a group of vicious convicts turn up.

Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (Bushwick; Cooties) from a screenplay written by Nick Morris, Lane Skye and Ruckus Skye. The movie stars Joel McHale (Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge; Dark Harbor; Assassination Nation), Kevin James (Hubie Halloween; Hotel Transylvania films; Monster House), Lulu Wilson (The Clinic; Annabelle: Creation; Ouija: Origin of Evil; Deliver Us from Evil) and Amanda Brugel.

Release:

Becky was released on June 5th 2020 on Digital and VOD by Quiver Distribution, plus select drive-ins and movie houses. It was the #1 film in the box office for new releases in its weekend and expanded for a second theatrical week at movie houses and drive-ins.

Review:

Cooties directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion return to deliver an enjoyable fast-paced brutal revenger ride with Becky.

Having grown up with roles in horror movies such as Ouija: Origin of Evil, Lulu Wilson is a revelation here and her resourceful and revenge-fuelled character provides more than a match for seemingly dim-witted yet tenacious neo-Nazi convict (played against-type by Kevin James) and his cohorts.

Admittedly, as was the case with Home Alone, there are some situations that require the viewer to just go with the flow and allow the increasingly nasty narrative to unfold without too much consideration for logic. After all, would an already grief-stricken and angry-with-the-world thirteen-year-old-girl really take it upon herself to suddenly focus fully and immediately avenge her father’s death too? Is rage such a powerful motivator? But hey, it’s only a movie!

A quirky synthtastic score by Nima Fakhrara adds perfectly to the manic milieu (so much so that you’ll want to stick around through the credits to hear it to the end). Despite some laboured lines from the baddies and murky morals regarding its intended audience’s obvious enjoyment during the onslaught against the villains aside (some kills are bound to raise a cheer), let’s hope that, as with The Wretched, Becky also proves to be a smash hit at the drive-ins. Frankly, in bringing back good old-fashioned exploitation cinema without pandering to retro tropes, it deserves to be.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“Believing Becky might take action to defend herself is one thing. The film asks us, though, to believe that she turns into a ruthless killing machine, not just protecting herself against the intruders but slaying them in the most grisly ways possible. The point is what? To suggest that adolescent girls are angry, nasty, and vindictive? If so, that’s a strange message to send.” The Aisle Seat

“We get brutal killings and a Bond villain-Esq henchman (the scene-stealing Robert Maillet), yet this didn’t turn into a caricature of excess or exploitation. Kevin James and Lulu Wilson commanded the screen with a one-two combo, giving Becky the unique distinction of having her cake and eating it too.” Arrow in the Head

” …the essentials of the endeavor are energizing, as Milott and Murnion are completely focused on the task at hand, constructing a thrillingly nasty piece of work without any narrative distractions or visual restraint. It’s a blunt instrument, and for those in the mood for such a cinematic pummeling, the feature is eager to deliver.” Blu-ray.com

“Truly far-fetched in concept, if sub-par in execution, and unintentionally funny for taking itself seriously, Becky plays it like a teen variation of  I Spit on Your Grave and attempts to outrage with over- the-top violence and very excessive gore, all coming from a 13-year-old killer girl seeking for revenge…” CineMarvellous!

Becky knows that it is New Age grindhouse cinema, recognizes it only wants to be a graphically explosive experience, and delivers according to those goals. The film gets pretty savage once action intensifies, with a carnage-laden collection of genuine shocks certain to catch unprepared viewers off guard.” Culture Crypt

Becky wanders a strange path in terms of its tone […] While genre fans might get some amusement from the more visceral moments, or the change in dynamic of the title character as she turns into something ferocious, the bulk of Becky feels uneven in ways that keep it from being the satisfying genre film it’s trying to emulate.” Daily Dead

“For anyone that is even remotely familiar with Kevin James and that enjoys his work as a screwball jokester, this is worth putting your eyeballs on just for the shedding of typecast alone. That’s not to say you will remember his performance, but you will at least probably remember Becky. As a character that is; the movie itself is still sadly forgettable.” Flickering Myth

Gruesome magazine podcast review:

“This action-thriller is definitely worth your time and has many surprising scenes. Imagine an R-rated Home Alone with a lot of blood.” Heaven of Horror

“It’s all devilish fun that doesn’t amount to much — if not a rather crass display of girl power and extreme vengeance. The casting of James as a psychotic but not entirely stupid neo-Nazi turns out to be both the movie’s distinguishing characteristic and something that tends to cut the credibility factor in half.” The Hollywood Reporter

“With a movie like Becky you can’t help but point out the borrowed parts of better-known action films. But the cast and crew are of such great chemistry they have forged a movie that is greater than the sum of its parts. Bloody, relentless, and often surprising, viewers will most likely come away ironically praising its originality rather than its homage.” iHorror

Becky doesn’t seem eager to grapple with the implications of turning a kid into a murderer, but Wilson’s performance hints that there is more going on underneath. Gorehounds at least might have some fun with what Becky throws out during its most gruesome kills…” IndieWire

“Undoubtedly, Lulu Wilson’s remarkable acting skill along with the impressive baddie portrayal by Kevin James make the subpar screenplay, by three screenwriters (Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, and Lane Skye), and half-pie direction, by Jonathan Milott and Cary Minion, tolerable.” Leaky Loonage

“There’s no urgency, here. Nobody’s in a mad dash to get this thing that they came there for before the cops find them. Nobody panics, freaks out or whimpers in fear and misery. Even the kids […] Movies like Becky don’t work when the villains don’t go all in and when the pace flags to the point where we notice the clunky dialogue and less than involving performances.” Movie Nation

“The biggest problem is that Becky is a paper-thin vision of an angry teenager with a dead mom. She’s barely even an archetype. It’s not Lulu Wilson’s fault, but it feels like no one ever tried to get under the skin of this title character to add even the remotest amount of development […] If we don’t care about Becky, the whole venture becomes a hollow enterprise at best.” RogerEbert.com

“As the blood splatters and Becky begins to look like Home Alone spawned a bastard child with Hostel, you realize that the filmmakers have achieved the dubious distinction of creating the first movie ever that qualifies as torture porn for all ages.” Rolling Stone

“Offering fairly brutal action on the verge of black comedy, this indie thriller from the directorial duo of Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott is lean, mean, nasty fun that will appeal to genre fans with hard-edged tastes. It may be less appealing to surprised fans of comedian Kevin James…” Variety

“An enjoyable thriller that will leave you with a couple of things to think about, Becky has a few issues. The script from Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, and Lane Skye left some potentially interesting ideas unexplored. But it still delivers where it matters.” Voices from the Balcony

Becky is small-scale, but the filmmakers do a remarkable amount with a single location, small cast, and drip-fed details intriguingly placed throughout to up the ante but keep the action grounded – there’s no danger of this thing going off the rails and becoming a Message Movie. It’s a simple tale smartly told…” Wicked Horror

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Cast and characters:

• Joel McHale … Jeff
• Kevin James … Dominick
• Lulu Wilson … Becky
• Amanda Brugel … Kayla
• Robert Maillet … Apex
• Ryan McDonald … Cole
• Gage Graham-Arbuthnot … Happy Son
• John D. Hickman … Sheriff
• Mike Dara … Transport Guard #1
• James McDougall … Hammond
• Chandra Michaels … Happy Mother
• Isaiah Rockcliffe … Ty
• Charles Boyland … Transport Guard #2
• Andrew Siwik … Driver
• Markus Radan … Fighting Boy #1

Filming locations:

• Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Technical details:

• 93 minutes
• Audio: Dolby Digital
• Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

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