‘…like an R-rated Home Alone movie, Becky is a physical, practically-minded film…’

Released at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, Becky took over from the aptly titled The Wretched as the US number one film, or at least the biggest thing released into makeshift drive-ins and the paltry few cinemas still open. The exposure might help gain a foothold in the public consciousness; a horror thriller with a strong female protagonist, it’s essentially a gritty, backwoods Die Hard in the wilderness, and should appeal to those with a stomach for bad things happening to bad people.

Of course, our heroes are good; Becky is played by Lulu Wilson, fortunate enough to have been in some decent sequels in the Oujia and Annabelle franchises, as well as Mike Flannagan’s Haunting of Hill House. She’s broken hearted by the death of her mother, and her father (Joel McHale) is pretty much dead to her too when he brings his new squeeze Kayla (Amanda Brugel) and his son to a remote cabin. Becky finds a key and a tin box while out sulking, and when neo-Nazi Dominik (Kevin James) and his gang turn up, the home invasion gives her the chance to extract a murderous, bloody revenge.

Like an R-rated Home Alone movie, Becky is a physical, practically-minded film, with nails, rulers, outboard-motors and other ordinary items re-purposed in a nasty way; directors Jonathan Millot and Cary Murnion do a good job of maintaining the suspense and keeping the stakes small but intense. Wrestler Robert Malillet also makes a big impression after many fifth-banana roles; he’s something of a man mountain, and the odds always seem against Becky’s unlikely comeback.

With nasty-ass killings and children involved, Becky will be too strong meat for some, and even if you can stay the course, it’s hard to love. But it is efficient, driven and proficient entertainment, and a class above most backwoods horror. If James and McHale are the draws, it’s Wilson who shoulders the load and manages the heavy lifting here; she’s clearly a star in the making, and Becky’s lashings of arterial blood provide a colourful backdrop for her graduation from child-actor to potential star. And what next for McHale? From Community to The Soup, he’s exuded a leading man quality with an innate mean-ness of spirit, and it’s about time he plugged himself into something which allows him to develop that persona. He doesn’t have enough to do here, but there’s still time for him; McHale just needs to carve out that opportunity for himself, rather than take more second-banana roles.

Becky hits UK cinemas from Sept 28th 2020.

Thanks to Vertigo Releasing for advance access to this title.


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  1. I wonder if the ‘bad guys’ thought of Becky as a Bad Seed, Blair Witch, or jr. Rambo in training? Forgive the plug but in writing Interpretation of Death I think I’ve watched every lost/chased/raped in the woods show there is. Becky IMO has balls and deserves the Rambo moniker, though she wanted her dad rather than her country to love her. I saw elements of McGyver as well and the big guy reminded me of Andre the Giant in Princess Bride. Rolling Stone panned the movie for the wrong reasons. A subtitle might have been ‘Deliver Us from (eva/evil) Becky’ but title was already taken. It was good to see a young fem protag that fared better than K. Reilly did in Eden Lake and a comic that could play a bad guy. I’m still wondering what the key being sought and hid by Becky unlocks??? It would have been great to see more War Games in the woods, ala Most Dangerous Game. This was better than Rust Creek and awful The Hunt. Sorely annoyed with writers for breaking cardinal rule about dogs… I sense a sequel, perhaps next time, there’ll be dueling banjo’s…

    • All agreed! Yes, I thought we needed to know what was in the box. And not happy seeing dogs under threat, even in a fiction. James was good as a baddie, and Becky herself was cool. A female Rambo isn’t such a bad idea, and by keeping the scale small, they didn’t stretch credulity too much. And feel free to cross promote; you are the master of backwoods adventures!

  2. Hmm….well you know how me and horror are usually a very good combo and with you saying this is a class above most backwoods horror, you certainly got my attention. So guess what? My list is now officially an encyclopedia! 😀😀

    • There’s must be some kind of government grant to help you clear this backlog; maybe we could organise a kickstarter for you to have live streaming in every room of your house….

      • 🤔🤔🤔 You know? That’s actually not a bad idea. I’m pretty sure a lot of people including my boss from work would be game for that. Thanks…that’s a really awesome idea! 😀😀😀😀

    • That’s a good question; given that Beck is a child, there’s lots of threat here for sure. Without going into spoilers, there’s no simulated ‘harm’ to the child characters, but the film purposefully walks a fine line. I think harming the child-characters would have had me reach for the off-switch.

      • Thanks. So Becky is the child then.
        I feel the same. I won’t watch movies where kids are harmed. It’s one of hte reasons I’ve never watched IT even while I enjoyed the book.

        • There’s other kids in the film, and when I saw the trailer, I wasn’t sure. But everyone has to draw the line somewhere, and I’m not comfortable with kids in peril in this kind of gritty, grimy film. IT, the recent film manages to keep things on the right side of acceptability, but you’re right to feel squeemish about this issue IMHO.

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