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May

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Angela Bettis, May

May

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
95 minutes
Limited Release Date:
06/06/03
performer:
Angela Bettis, Anna Faris, Jeremy Sisto, James Duval, Will Estes
director:
Lucky McKee
distributor:
Lions Gate Films
author:
Lucky McKee
genre:
Horror

We gave it a B-

The simple, subjunctive title says it all: Lucky McKee’s first feature may be a basic slasher flick. (It does, after all, center on a lazy-eyed veterinary technician whose inability to play well with others manifests itself in a creepy appreciation for people’s ”pretty parts” — and whose access to scalpels and sutures more or less guarantees where we go from there.) Or it may be ”a psychological journey with tragic undertones,” as the press notes allege — though, in Hollywood terms, it’s a short, familiar trip from misfit alienation to mass murder. Most likely, McKee is attempting both identities and achieving neither. But May — though ultimately too waterlogged with student-film self-seriousness to revel fully in its low-rent joie de cleaver — nevertheless taps into a furious atavistic energy that reflects well on the filmmaker and his fully committed cast.

As the title character, Angela Bettis (TV’s ”Carrie”) certainly wears blood well, and adds a patina of indie sophistication to the doll-collecting, thumbsucking woman-child moviegoers have come to know and fear. But it’s hard to believe that even her boneheaded boho love interests (Jeremy Sisto and Anna Faris, who claim to ”like weird” without fully comprehending what weird entails) wouldn’t immediately recognize her for what she is: the Sundance answer to Re-Animator.