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May

Year of Release: 2002
Theatrical Release Date:
NA

Director: Lucky McKee
Writing Credits:
Lucky McKee
Rating:
R
Run Time:
93 min
Studio: Info coming soon

Cast: Chandler Riley Hecht, Rachel David, Nora Zehetner

More Info: Visit Official Site

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Summary: Nobody knows what to make of May (Angela Bettis). Born with a lazy eye, for which she wore a patch while growing up, she became a loner oddball whose only friend was a perfectly kept doll. She moves to L.A. and takes up with a filmmaker (Jeremy Sisto), but the relationship sours quickly -- and dangerously. She then befriends an alluring lesbian colleague (Anna Faris), but that, too, along with every connection May attempts to make, turns deadly. (summary from Netflix.com)

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 3 | Fun Factor: 3 | Gore: 2.5 | Nudity: 1.5 | Scare Factor: 2 | Overall: 4/5

One of the Best Post-2000 Horror Films
Reviewed by Gavin Schmitt

Psychological horror about a lonely young woman (Angela Bettis) traumatized by a difficult childhood, and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her. May falls for a man based almost entirely on his hand and does not handle rejection well...

I do not even know what to say about this one, as the film is so incredibly great that I cannot even express my thoughts in words. Angela Bettis is fantastic and Lucky McKee is a solid director. He has done more great stuff since (particularly "The Woods"), but this remains his masterpiece.

The film is loaded with references, such as Bilson Cigarettes, which may be a reference to George Bilson, the writer-producer of the 1945 short "What, no Cigarettes?" The "Art of Darkness" book is a nice Dario Argento nod, as is the "Opera" poster in the apartment and the mention of the film "Trauma". Even the score seems reminiscent of certain Argento films.

Relying on Clamato funding and heavily influenced by "Taxi Driver", the film is full of dark humor and an interesting look at sex and attraction, thanks in part to Anna Faris. (Perhaps Lucky McKee and Gregg Araki cross paths, because both have featured Faris and James Duval in their films, and both explore what could e called alternate views on sexuality.) To top all this off, John William Waterhouse, the painter, inspired the look.

There are many solid visuals. There is the leg shot through the door, any of the eye close-ups, and then the mixing of milk and blood, which may call to mind the semen and blood mixture that Metallica did six years prior...

"May" is a must-see for horror fans. Very weird, very odd, and at times a bit disturbing, it really captures a feeling no other film has. Roger Ebert, no fan of horror, granted the film four stars out of four, and called it "a horror film and something more and deeper, something disturbing and oddly moving". McKee may be one of the last great original directors out there.

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 3.5 | Fun Factor: 4 | Gore: 4 | Nudity: 2 | Scare Factor: 3.5 | Overall: 4/5

If THIS Is Friendship, What Would Marriage Be Like?
Reviewed by Katanasting

When Lucky McKee and Angela Bettis team up, you are never going to get horror that is simply `ordinary.` They have only worked together twice that I know of: with the MASTERS OF HORROR episode "Sick Girl" (which was one of the better ones), and here with MAY. I can`t wait to see what they`ll do next; McKee with his pitch-black humored style and ballsy willingness to go "too far", and Bettis, who is totally unafraid to follow him wherever he`s going...or lead him even further if necessary.

MAY makes this more than evident. Non-horror fans will scratch their heads and require more than a minute or two to decipher the movie`s tagline "If you can`t find a friend, make one." For true horror fans, only a few seconds will pass before they break out into a maniacal grin and exclaim, "You gotta be SHITTING me! REALLY?"

Oh, yes, REALLY. MAY is everything that line implies, and then some.

You could say that May Dove Canady is a spiritual soul sister of Carrie White. May is just as much of an outcast because of her looks (she has a lazy eye), her weird mother, Mama Canady (Merle Kennedy) who, while not a fundamental religious whack-job, has a very `unique` view of the world and her daughter`s place in it, and May, like Carrie, has a only a doll as a friend to keep her company. Okay, so Carrie`s `doll` was the creepy statue of St. Sebastian she was forced to pray to. May`s "friend" goes creepy one better: it`s a doll in a glass case, but you get the unsettling feeling that the only "man-made materials" this figure is made of are more likely to be found in a mortuary than a doll factory!

Working as an assistant at a pet clinic and also at a day care center, May manages to break out of her amber-thick cocoon of impending insanity to connect with a few people: studly `rebel without a clue`
Adam Stubbs (Jeremy Sisto), who becomes May`s first `boyfriend`, and her lesbionic flake of a co-worker, Polly (Anna Faris, so much better than in the SCARY MOVIE series), just to name the two who have the greatest impact on her life (emotionally AND sexually).

Unfortunately, real, TRUE friends are hard to find, and May discovers this the hard way when all of those she becomes attached to betray and reject her in one way or another, and she loses all her friends, both living and non-. And because this poor demented soul can only accept life in extremes of black and white...well, that`s where the tag line comes in.

There are places where the movie drags from some scenes that could`ve used some judicious editing, but MAY deserves its overall rating from me for the stunning third act, and for an ending that most other horror films wouldn`t dream of using. It`s gory, horrifying and more than a bit sad, showing us how this girl, totally insane, is still also committed to obtain her heart`s desire no matter what the cost. My heart ached for her even as I had to fight my gag reflexes. I also wanted to buy both Lucky McKee and Angela Bettis drinks to toast one of the most unique climaxes ever.

I don`t know if you`ll feel the same way, but I doubt that very many of you will be disappointed.

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 3 | Fun Factor: 3 | Gore: 2.5 | Nudity: 1.5 | Scare Factor: 2 | Overall: 4/5

In the tradition of Tim Burton, May delivers with great oddness.
Reviewed by Butcher

When I put this little artsy fartsy horror flick into my DVD player, I had no idea what it was about or even what to expect - I just heard that it was unusual and clever. When I saw that this film was coming up on my rental queue, I was most excited. I had recently watched Constantine and Hide and Seek so I was due for some low budget, guerilla filmmaking. However, I was surprised to see that May’s appearance wasn’t as scotch taped together as I had initially thought it would be. It looked as if they had a million to play with. Maybe even a few.

Within the first ten minutes a few things really got my attention. The first thing was the musical score by composer Jaye Barnes-Lucket, which quite honestly reminded me of Danny Elfman. There are moments where you watch a scene and the instruments are almost toying with the sequence and not in a way that takes away from the scene but rather, in a way that complements it. I guess a counter melody would be a good way to put it. I liked the score so much that I might even pick up the soundtrack. Just for an FYI, the score is not only instrumental as there are plenty of mood-setting, mostly depressing songs that include a singer.

The casting was the second element that tingled my boys downstairs. When I first saw that Angela Bettis was playing the role of May, I began to sweat just a tad since I had recently seen Toolbox Murders and it made me want to put a nail gun to my face. But, I will give Angela all the credit in the world because she did a great job with the character of May Dove Canady. So much so that I feel comfortable in saying that she was perfect for the role. It’s hard to imagine anyone else as this slanted eye “freak”.

The second casting choice that really locked me into this joyfully murky ride was Jeremy Sisto who plays the role of Adam Stubbs, a sexy car mechanic that falls for our eccentric leading lady. You would recognize Jeremy from Thirteen, Six Feet Under and Suicide Kings. Shit, kid! He’s been in tons of good movies. Last but not least is Anna Faris from the Scary Movie series who plays the supporting role Polly. She looks really cute and plays a lesbian. FYI: There is a rockin’ girl on girl scene. No nudity but still very sexy.

Where May really shines is in the originality department. I would eat four plates of lamb fries to see what’s in director Lucky McKee’s head, even if it were only for a few hours. At times, May feels like early Tim Burton. The sets are full of color and the characters are unimaginably quirky. For example, Adam and May are sitting down in the park talking. “Would you like some of my sandwich?” Adam asks. As May nods in approval, Adam pulls out a beat up old Swiss Army knife and proceeds to cut the sandwich in half. Now ask yourself if you’ve ever seen anyone use a Swiss army knife to cut a sandwich? If you say yes then you’re a liar and deserve to be tortured by Dr. Satan!

Another example was when May is lying in bed, just a few short hours after her lunch in the park with Adam. Her hands are wrapped around a pack of smokes that Adam had given her earlier; her small, fragile fingers lightly fondling each cigarette as she wears a six-inch smile. The music plays as we watch her drift off into la la land. In most cases, May would have had a sweater or Adam’s picture to remind her of him but not in this film. I bet Lucky McKee couldn’t be mainstream if she had to be. Not that she doesn’t know how to but I think the artistic side would consume her.

If I could change anything about this film, it would be the pacing. I just wish that May had lost her shit about fifteen minutes earlier. For those of you who don’t know, May, the weird girl with no friends, loses her mind and uses her surgical tools to cut more than her precious animals. FYI – she’s a vet. I don’t think I am giving much away because this is a horror film. I mean Christ, someone has to die!

Overall, I really enjoyed Lucky McKee’s May. I thought that Angela Bettis was exceptional in her role and at times, I felt absolutely terribly for this girl. I found myself wanting to pull a “Horace Pinker” and jump into the TV just so I could hold her and offer my compassion. That folks, is damn good acting and writing because most of her friends wind up in a freezer.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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