Film Review: Becky

As much as I’d love to be able to tell everyone to go out and watch Lulu Wilson’s performance as the titular character in Becky, the confusion I feel over what the movie is trying to say and its attempts at accomplishing this left me a little too uncomfortable with the violence this teenager is down to wreak, even if it is against Nazis.

Basic Synopsis: Sadness leads to anger, anger leads to stealing, stealing leads to violently defending her family from the group of Nazis holding them hostage until a key to an unknown treasure can be found.

First Things First: What kind of monsters put not one, but two dogs in their horror film?

Brief Thoughts: Becky opens up with footage of the teenaged lead moving in parallel with the imprisoned Nazis who will soon break out and terrorize her family, and this is the first instance in which I really couldn’t tell you what the movie is trying to say in comparing the two. So much time is dedicated to humanizing one of the Nazi minions (lead by Kevin James) in particular as a gentle giant who blanches at harming children, and honestly I couldn’t care less for this wasted screen time. A Nazi is a Nazi is a Nazi, and when the film goes out of its way to create such violence from a young girl that would make the most recently relaunched Chucky proud, attempting to make the bad guys sympathetic just weakens my ability to not feel super uncomfortable at what this child is capable of doing. Are we supposed to see her as a bad guy as well, on the same level as these murderers? Is that what that early parallel is supposed to tell me?

What I Wish They’d Done: How about instead of wasting all this time attempting to give Apex (that’s right, the big boy Nazi played by Robert Maillet is named Apex) a character arc in seemingly #NotAllNazis fashion, we dedicate that time to further exploring the psychological break that either happened when Becky’s mom died the year prior, or soon after Dominick (James) started assaulting her father and dogs, turning her from a loving, ukulele strumming daughter into a Louise Belcher hat wearing psychopath who seemingly revels in fighting back in the goriest (often laughably so, presumably unintentionally) and most brutal ways possible.

Favorite Line: “Did it take years of hard work to get this fucking stupid?” I found myself often wondering why Amanda Brugel’s character didn’t do more to take her son to safety, especially considering how much they’re left alone in the living room with only their hands tied, but if she stuck around just to seriously burn Dominick in this verbal fashion, I guess I’ll cool it on judging her a bit.

Last but Not Least: Does the Dog Survive the Film? (Spoilers for Doggo): The good news is that Diego survives numerous bludgeonings, the bad news is Dora is off to explore what’s on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

Final Thoughts: If I feel the urge to watch little girls go ham on people, I think I’ll stick to Logan. X-23’s violence seems far more understandable, and is thus far less uncomfortable to watch than Becky’s sudden, savage bloodlust.

So what’d you think of Becky? Be sure to let me know in the comments below or over on twitter, where you can find me at BewareOfTrees.

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