3/01/2021

Lucky (2020) (Review)


Director: Natasha Kermani
Writer: Brea Grant
Cast: Brea Grant, Hunter C. Smith, Kristina Klebe, Kauser Mohammed, Dhruv Uday Singh
Year: 2020
Min: 83

May (Brea Grant) is a self-help author, who is now in a creative slump. She is feeling tired of touring, book signings, and all the other issues that come with being a writer. Living in the suburbs with her hubby, Ted (Dhruv Uday Singh), everything else seems well enough. Except that one night, a masked, male intruder (Hunter C. Smith) breaks into their house and tries to attack her. Ted, nonchalantly says that this is a nightly occurrence. The authorities also take it all in a decidedly causal manner. Ted, doesn't even bother to tell them that the man has supposedly been there before. 

When May confronts her husband about this nightly intruder, he ends up leaving her. She then, must go at it alone, facing the increasingly more violent and bold attacks by the man. This man, who she clearly kills almost every single time, simply disappears afterwards. Only to continuously come back, clearly not hurt and, very much alive. The police, and no else one quite frankly, are of any use to her. May has no idea what the hell is happening, who her assailant is, or where the fuck Ted is, for that matter. 

Lucky is a Canadian horror movie that mixes elements of slasher, home invasion, psychological thriller, and David Lynch. All of which is filtered through a feminist eye, thanks to the directing of Natasha Kermani and lead actress and horror fan favorite favorite Brea Grant, who wrote the imaginative script. Much of it comes off as wonderfully original. Perhaps some bits and pieces recall other movies, but the sum of its wholes is unlike anything I can recall. And, that is something this weary viewer and critic can appreciate. As a matter of fact, the more I reflected on it, the more my admiration for it grew.

This flick stands as a great showcase for Brea Grant's immense acting talent. Her character of May is the one that really carries the whole story. A great example of her performance lies in the first time the man appears. Her facial reactions are priceless, as she conveys so much emotion in them. And, May, herself, comes off as a very likable person. You care and, thus, cheer for her.

While, the acting is strong from everyone else, the other characters tend to frustrate me. Which is, I think, clearly the point. Dhruv Uday Singh's Ted, in particular, doesn't ever win my affection. Singh is great, but I don't like or fully trust his character. He, like everyone around May, comes off as incompetent and/ or simply a bunch of dicks. Cause, the truth is May is out on her own in this and, in many ways, everything else in life. Which is not unlike the advice she gives as a writer.

All of this, of course, comes from Grant's wonderful, subtext filled script. Without giving away anything there are allegories to the struggles and menaces that women face, usual alone. Her story is timely and shows, once again, that the female voice in the genre is very much needed. And, that it can bring in fresh and bold takes on tired old sub-genres like slashers and home invasion flicks.

Kermani's directing slowly ratchets up the suspense, as each attack is seemingly more brazen and aggressive in both nature and, eventually, consequences. As such, the fights May and the man have are each bloodier than the last. Furthermore, her directing kept me invested in every single moment and detail. It should be mentioned that the ending doesn't clearly give any answers and nothing is ever fully explained. This isn't a problem though, as it fits the movie's narrative quite well. Of course, that won't be to everyone's liking, but it certainly was to mine. 

Lucky isn't your typical slasher/ home invasion movie, and is all the more fascinating for this very reason. It's a flick that the more I thought about it, the more I appreciated and enjoyed it. The well directed movie always held my interest, keeping me fully invested in it. Grant's excellent script made me question and analyze everything that was going on. And, speaking of Grant, while the whole cast is great, she really stands out in her performance. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a damn good flick, but it won't be for everyone. Those who like everything explained and for the story to be cut and dry, might feel frustrated with it. But, for those of us who love Lynchian terror and a movie with a deep and fully relevant socio-political message, will find much to enjoy here. You can catch Lucky when it starts streaming on Shudder, this Thursday, March 4, 2021. 



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