May (2002) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Lucky McKee
Producers: Marius Balchunas, Scott Sturgeon
Writers: Lucky McKee
Date Released: January 13, 2002
Angela Bettis as May Dove Canady
Chandler Riley Hecht as Young May
Jeremy Sisto as Adam Stubbs
Anna Faris as Polly
Nichole Hiltz as Ambrosia
James Duval as The Punk Boy (“Blank”)
Ken Davitian as Foreign Doctor
Kevin Gage as Papa Canady
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
May grows up to be a painfully awkward woman working in an animal hospital. Her only friend is a weird doll in a glass case, given by her mother (Merle Kennedy) in May’s childhood. When she meets Adam Stubbs (Jeremy Sisto), she falls in love with his hands. Weirded out, Adam rejects May. She then seeks the companion of her lesbian colleague, Polly (Anna Farris). But she also feels betrayed when Polly chooses Ambrosia (Nichole Hiltz) over her. Alone, May decides to create the perfect friend for her.
Expect a lot of shocking imagery when watching May (2002). There’s amputation, skin biting, crawling on glass, and self-harm. The special effects are outstanding for a low budget. When a violent scene happens, there’s no holding back in the gore. The dead bodies look realistic, the violence is convincing, and open wounds seem authentic.
For animal lovers, a fair warning: there’s animal violence. Also, you’ll see a dead cat.
The Grave Review
May (2002) is a gift that keeps on giving. Released more than a decade ago, it remains one-of-a-kind and sticks with whoever finds it. While it has the common story about a social outcast gone rogue, the film takes this concept into its own original idea. You might think that you know what’s coming, but you don’t.
The storytelling is compelling. The way the film establishes May’s character is slow but sure. Others might find the pacing a little bit slow, but once the movie reaches its climax, it’s all worthwhile. Also, how the characters’ paths intertwine in the story feels natural, making the characters well-developed and their interactions fruitful.
Angela Bettis is the perfect actress for May. Just like her rendition of Carrie White in Carrie (2002), she plays the role of an awkward and slightly deranged woman superbly. She makes May likable but you’ll know that something is not quite right with her. When May finally reaches her breaking point, Bettis knows how to instill fear without overacting. Jeremy Sisto and Anna Farris are also standouts in the movie. Many people remember Farris as Cindy from Scary Movie (2000). In this film, she shows that she has acting talent outside of her comedic roles.
Scenes intended to make the audience feel uncomfortable are effective, whether it is gore or tension. Of course, the killings and the conclusion of the film are gore fests. But another scene worth mentioning is when May’s glass box shatters in front of blind kids. They crawl and touch their way to the doll inside the box, unknowing of the glass shards in front of them. The children scream in pain while May is having a breakdown due to the loss of her only friend. It is a powerful scene and a good way to show that May has finally lost it.
The music in the film also helps build tension in the scenes. At some point, it becomes familiar and comforting. So when the highlights of the movie happen, you’ll expect music to accompany you. But there’s only silence, making you feel unsettled as you watch the horrors unfold.
Overall, the experience May (2002) gives is wonderfully strange. It is a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you wanting more after it ends. If you’re looking for psychological horror done right with satisfying gore, watch May (2002) as soon as you can. Don’t miss this hidden gem.
For the above reasons, Grave Reviews gives May (2002) four graves out of five graves.
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