May (2002)
By: J.R. McNamara on October 11, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Universal (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, English DD 2.0. 89 minutes
The Movie
Director: Lucky McKee
Starring: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris
Screenplay: Lucky McKee
Country: USA
It is very easy to become a jaded horror fan. You find that after a while everything seems to become a bit same-o same-o. Sure, you still watch horror movies for the violence, blood, guts and the nudity, but all you are really waiting for is something different and original to come along. May is here, and May is different.

Written and directed by newcomer Lucky McKee, his previous film being All Cheerleaders Die, May has been the recipient of many awards, including Best actress for Angela Bettis at the Catalonian International Film Festival 2002, Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film 2003, and the Malaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema 2003 where it also won Best Film, Best Screenplay and the Youth Jury Award for Best Feature Film. May stands out as an unusual and interesting, and somehow, almost touching and beautiful horror film.

May (Angela Bettis) is an odd soul. Singled out as a child because of her lazy eye, May became a loner, who with an oppressive mother, came to believe her only friend was a doll named Suzy. Her alienation gave birth to a love of making and collecting dolls, and her seamstress skills flourished. Now an adult and working at a veterinarian clinic, May starts to meet new and interesting people, co-worker Polly (Anna Farris) and her friend Ambrosia (Nichole Hiltz), local mechanic Adam (Jeremy Sisto) and punk Blank (James Duvall), all of whom she starts a dangerous series of obsessions, which of course, breaks her easily broken heart. She realizes that not all people are like her lifeless best friend Suzy, and she is reminded of her mother's favorite saying "If you can't find a friend, make one."

With influences ranging from Mary Shelly, to Argento and Taxi Driver, May is an amazing foray into horror, with an unexpected viewpoint with horrific results. Lucky McKee has this film oozing atmosphere and has really dragged the best possible performances from all the players. The casting choices are clearly what make this movie shine. Angela Bettis' brilliant portrayal of May is at times almost heartbreaking, but at the same time comical, which makes her evolution to her final state more terrifying. Anna Farris as the oversexed Polly is worth a mention, playing against her usual comedic roles (like the Scary Movie series) she really shines.
May has a 16:9 anamorphic widescreen transfer and looks great.
There are two options for sound on this one: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Stereo 2.0. The 5.1 soundtrack sounds good and shows off some nice subtleties of the film.
Extra Features
This disc starts with two trailers: one for Elvira's Haunted Hills and the other for Secretary. These trailers are shown before the menu comes up.

May has two audio commentaries. The first is with Lucky McKee, Angela Bettis, Nichole Hiltz, Chris Sivertson (editor), cinematographer Steve Yedlin and Bret Roberts who plays the Distraught Man in Vet's Office. It is their first commentary track, but it makes for an unprepared, fun commentary with a few interesting tidbits along the way. The second commentary is more a crew commentary that features Lucky Mckee, musician Jaye Barnes-Luckett, production designer Leslie Keel, editor Rian Johnson and Benji, craft services (who may be a joke ring-in). This commentary looks a little more at the technical side but again is fun and insightful. Lucky McKee really leads both commentaries with thrown in comments by the other members of the teams.

The trailer for May runs for 1 minute 41 seconds.

The photo gallery has 14 stills from the movie.
The Verdict
May is an excellent film, that at first seems slow, but is actually very deliberately paced. Those interested in whiz-bang effects or extreme gore may find this movie not quite to their liking, but those who appreciate a carefully constructed horror story will love it.
Movie Score
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