A teenager named Becky (LuLu Wilson) goes on a weekend trip with her father (Joel McHale) to their lake house. Things get worse when a group of convicts come to their house and start terrorizing them.
Director: Jonathon Milott, Cary Murnion
Cast: LuLu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Robert Maillet, Amanda Brugel, Isaiah Rockcliffe, Ryan McDonald, James McDougall
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, and language
Fun Fact: Simon Pegg was supposed to play the villain but had to drop out of production. Kevin James was announced as his replacement a month later.
I had no plans to see Becky due to other work I have planned. My wife rented it on Amazon Prime and she recommended it to me and wanted to hear what I had to say about it. Since we had the rental for another day, and I told myself why not and give it a shot. I had seen that Kevin James was taking a different approach for this film as he is a villain in a darker toned thriller, which is a huge one-eighty compared to all of the comedies he has and continues to do.
Becky was a huge mixed bag for me as viewing the movie I kept telling myself this is just Home Alone for adults. That is the basic plot of the film as it is a group of villains terrorizing on someone’s home and an adolescent defends themselves from them but with gore added into the mix. We get some creative death scenes but to me it just felt too easy to defeat these convicts. Everything was perfectly placed, and LuLu Wilson’s character did not have much of a problem until she met Robert Maillet’s character. For a teenager you would think she would have a harder time taking on grown adults. These villains’ motives are not really explained as they escape from prison and they are on the hunt for something. The motives for what getting this thing is never explained either. To me it is important that we know what these characters and get fleshed out characterizations. All I got is Kevin James is a Nazi and that is about it. This leads to my problems with the film and that is with the script. We have bland characters that only know little about. We get some backstory about the tension between LuLu Wilson and Joel Mchale and what we get is fine. Amanda Brugel, who plays Joel McHale girlfriend, is one of those characters that if she were not in the film then she would not be missed. She is just there and does little throughout the film.
LuLu Wilson is fine in her performance as she has quite a bit of heavy lifting to do. She is the star of the show and has to take on everything and in a way, you do hope she succeeds because she is in an awful situation. Joel McHale was probably my favorite performance in the film. He just played the father character so well that it was believable. The obvious selling point is Kevin James as the villain. He does a fine job here, but just like Patrick Stewart in Green Room it would have been nice to see more of him and his plans. Even though I am not the biggest fan of his work, he should seek out more dramatic roles like this. The look of Kevin James kept reminding me that this would have been a perfect role for the Big Show if he had been offered it. Speaking of wrestlers, it was nice seeing Robert Maillet on screen without heavy makeup and just a normal looking guy.
Production wise there are some effective scenes of violence. It looks brutal, realistic, and shot well. We get clean camera shots of what is going on and there is no shaky camera work. If you are looking for a film that can be brutal in its visuals at certain points and this one would be for you. The music is fantastic as well as it brings a new level of tension to certain scenes. For a film like this music is key if you want to sell your points of thrills and tension. The length of the film is around ninety minutes and at certain points it felt longer. I had to pause the film at one point, and I saw that I had about forty minutes left and asked myself what they are going to do for those forty minutes.
Overall, Becky was a bland film that left me mixed. It does have some effective scenes of tension brought out by the music and violence, but its biggest downfall is the script. It is an adult version of Home Alone and while that is fine, I could not get over that fact of it. This led to at some points having a boring film. The performances are fine, and it is nice to see Kevin James go outside his comfort zone with this one. I just wish they did more with his character. In fact, I wish we got to see more motivation and motives with some of the characters because we do not get much from the film. Everything also seemed too easy to defeat the villains with things being conveniently placed. Becky is one of those films that I saw once and that is good enough.
Wife’s Verdict: Hit as it flowed well, and it was well made.