• 25 Jul - 31 Jul, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

You’ve seen Kevin James play a Queens delivery man, a mall cop, a retired cop, a biology teacher turned MMA fighter, a zookeeper (in Zookeeper), the president of the United States, an animated Frankenstein, and a straight firefighter pretending that he’s gay.

But it’s fairly certain that you’ve never quite seen him as he is in Becky, a stylish and very gory home-invasion thriller from the directing duo of Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott.

Sporting a beard worthy of the Duck Dynasty crew and a collection of Nazi head tattoos, James plays the leader of an Aryan Brotherhood-like prison gang who escapes from jail and terrorises a family at their lake house over much of the film’s running time. In one stomach-churning sequence, James’ character, named Dominick, is forced to slice through his own ocular nerve with a large kitchen knife.

Such carnage, dished out in ample doses, tends to be the highlight of an otherwise passable B-grade exercise in tension, torture and human endurance.

The titular heroine, played with verve by 14-year-old Lulu Wilson (a breakout in Annabelle: Creation), spends most of the story fending off Dominick and his band of convicts as they do damage to her dad (Joel McHale of Community) and, perhaps even worse, to her dogs. Fueled by high levels of teenage angst brought on – in a rather easy screenwriting ploy – by her mother’s recent death from cancer, Becky is set to take the earrings off and take down the baddies, finding some cleverly cruel ways to exact nasty revenge on each one of them.

Becky tends to work best when it revels in the blood-splattered set pieces of its script going that extra mile and a half in the gore department to create some truly disgusting moments, albeit ones that are laced with a grim sense of humour.

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. No matter how hardcore he tries to look with his tats and deep stares, James just doesn’t seem like someone who adheres to the doctrines of the Third Reich. He’s more like a nice guy pretending he’s sick, which is maybe how Dominick really feels deep down inside, but Becky never offers the psychological insight to take us there.

– Compilation