LUCKY (2020) reviews of cyclical home invasion horror

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[Total: 73   Average: 2.6/5]

Lucky is a 2020 American horror feature film about a nightly home invasion by a mysterious man who terrorises a female author. When she can’t get help from those around her, she is forced to take matters into her own hands.

Directed by Natasha Kermani (Imitation Girl) from a screenplay written by Brea Grant (writer-director of 12 Hour Shift; actress in The Stylist; After Midnight; All the Creatures Were Stirring; Bad Apples; et al) who also stars alongside Hunter C. Smith, Kristina Klebe, Kausar Mohammed and Dhruv Uday Singh.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Director Natasha Kermani takes the real-world horrors for women and heightens them to still execute a prudent, entertaining genre film. It isn’t a subtle metaphor, but since when does subtlety always have to be a necessity? Brea Grant’s stabby script pushes the normalcy of women fighting every day, being made victims, and not being believed to absurd degrees, but knowingly so.” The Artful Critic

“The combined talents of Kermani and Grant provides the perfect storm of thoughtfully written social commentary that happens to exist in a home invasion flick. The dream-like qualities of its narrative, along with the strong execution of the surface level portions allow Lucky to entertain, but leave that lasting echo effect of smart film making.” Blood Brothers

“It’s claustrophobic and draining while still feeling large and manageable. The action is well shot and it boasts an excellent use of the physical space to create both a feeling of stuffy tension while making sure May feels dangerously exposed and unprotected by walls and doors.” CGM Backlot magazine

Lucky is a strong film and while it’s been compared to Groundhog Day it’s much smarter and has a lot more to say. The climax is satisfying and really brings home Grant’s point, and the film is very thought-provoking. Add to that Kermani’s direction and Lucky is an absolute winner that you should definitely seek out.” Entertainment Focus

“A smart, savvy film which never lets itself be overwhelmed by the deep emotion underneath the surface, this was a strong addition to the Fantasia 2020 line-up. It’s a film that may be light on plot but that has a heavy impact.” Eye for Film

“The film is heavy-handed in the metaphor, intentionally, and it works well for them. I can’t speak from the viewpoint of a man seeing Lucky and reacting to it, but I’m sure that some of them will see some of these scenes and think they’re absurd. So many of the over-exaggerated scenes look so familiar to someone who’s been gaslit.” Horror Obsessive

“Surreal, poignant, and bitingly feminist […] It’s a scathing dissection of a universal yet intimate fear and how hard it is to get people to break away from their preconceived narratives and take you seriously in a world that feels trapped in a twisted cycle of ignored violence.” Killer Horror Critic

“It’s long been a critical commonplace that the slasher film is a battleground for feminist discourse, and this wholeheartedly embraces the underlying woman vs world metaphor, though Grant the writer is smart enough to give Grant the actress a character to play rather than just an archetype.  May is trapped in a Groundhog Day situation, but this pulls back from the solipsism inherent in GD premises by forcing the protagonist to realise that her problems aren’t hers alone…” The Kim Newman Web Site

” …an oneiric, allegorical scenario in which the Man is less bog-standard slasher, than monstrous metaphor. For here the Man embodies not only May’s daily grind against a system (‘the Man’) that is always wearing her down, but also every woman’s struggle in a world of constant undermining, aggression and oppression from men.” Projected Figures

” …this film has a bit of the rinse and repeat tendencies of the time paradox movies. In this scenario, time is not changing or being re-set, but the incidents do repeat… night after night. I think the film could have tightened up a bit, and that there may have been one too many incidents, and the movie felt a bit padded, and the shock value is diminished.” The Scariest Things

Lucky is a film that can be viewed as a deconstruction of the typical home-invasion of the film […] While the themes of Lucky are undoubtedly interesting, the plot could have been executed better since much of the film is a loop of killer attacks May, May fends off killer (usually by killing him herself), killer vanishes and returns the next day. However, despite its flaws, Lucky is still a film worth checking out.” Sean Kelly on Movies

“What I liked the most was the pat responses cataloged in the script; answers that women receive all the time to pacify our supposed “hysteria” over gender injustice taken as the norm. The ending is an interesting concept that has to sink in well after the film ends, but it’s as realistic as it gets in this fantasy world.” View from the Dark

“Such is the force of its anger, Lucky does feel like a large part of the narrative is at the service of its central premise […] There are certain choices which are not entirely clear, such as May’s apparent partial amnesia. Nevertheless, Lucky manages to be simultaneously absurd and deadly serious, which is no mean feat.” The Wee Review

Release:

Lucky premiered at the 2020 Fantasia festival and has been purchased by Shudder for future streaming.

Cast and characters:

Brea Grant … May
Hunter C. Smith … The Man
Kristina Klebe
Kausar Mohammed
Dhruv Uday Singh
Yasmine Al-Bustami … Edie
Leith M. Burke
Larry Cedar … Officer Pace
Nikea Gamby-Turner … Detective
Susan Kemp … Emergency Medical Technician
Jesse Merlin
Tara Perry … Elizabeth
Chase Williamson
Grace Yee … Moderator

Technical details:

81 minutes

Related:

12 Hour Shift (2020) reviews of recommended sick dark comedy

  

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