lucky | natasha kermani | brea grant | dhruv uday singh | yasmine al-bustami | surreal | slasher | drama | fantasy | thriller | united states | chase williamson | kristina klebe | nikea gamby-turner | hunter c. smith | larry cedar | leith m. burke | allegory
Director: Natasha Kermani
Writer: Brea Grant
Starring: Brea Grant, Dhruv Uday Singh and Yasmine Al-Bustami
This was a movie that I first heard about as it premiered on Shudder for one night on Halloween in 2020. I think that was what happened here. It is now getting its full wide release in 2021 so I figured I would watch it for my podcast. This is one that I have heard a few reviews about and knew some things coming in, but I like to keep an open mind to make my own decisions. Plus I’m a fan of Brea Grant, who stars and wrote this. To get into this, our synopsis is a suburban woman fights to be believed as she finds herself stalked by a threatening figure who returns to her house night after night. When she can't get help from those around her, she is forced to take matters into her own hands.
For this, we start off with our main character of May (Grant) as she talks with her literary agent of Rob (Leith M. Burke). It appears that her latest book isn't selling as well, so they're holding off currently about taking on her next book. This news isn't great, but there isn't much that May can do. She goes to her car in a parking garage. She drops a box of books she is carrying and thinks she hears someone scream.
At home she spends time with her husband of Ted (Dhruv Uday Singh). He is a philosophy professor at the local college. What I noticed here is that their relationship feels a bit troubled. That night they have something else to worry about. May hears a dog barking and keys jingle. She looks into the backyard to find a man, played by Hunter C. Smith. She wakes up Ted to tell him and he confirms that it is the man that comes every night to kill them. He seems calm about this and May is not. He does get out of bed as the man breaks in. Ted kills the guy and May calls the police.
The next morning, May inquires to Ted about what he said the night previous. He confirms what he said and that she didn't imagine the man coming to try to kill them. She doesn't understand how he so calm about all this and it causes them to fight. This fight causes Ted to leave and ignores May's calls. She tries to get to the bottom of this man and why he keeps showing up. We learn that this might not be an isolated incident and could be much more to what is happening here.
That is where I'm going to leave my recap as that gets you up to speed with what we are getting here without spoiling. Where I want to start is that I think we have an interesting premise here. We have this man who shows up every night, trying to kill May and Ted knows about it. There is a surreal feel here as well. May tells what happened to Officer Mercy (Chivonne Michelle) and Officer Pace (Larry Cedar). They don't seem to do anything with the information though. It makes it even worse when Officer Pace 'mansplains' things to her. Ted does as well. It gets quite frustrating to May, which is understandable.
I do have a problem with this though. Without spoiling where this movie goes, it is a heavy handed allegory for what women have to deal with. It is a story about how women have to be vigilant in this world. As a male, it is something that I didn't realize and had to learn through discussions with my partner along with other women in my life. It is sad that this is the world we live in and this movie is really saying how we need to be better. I just think that it could have been presented a bit better. This is a movie that I think women can appreciate for the message. I appreciate it for that. It hurts the message though by not making more palatable for a wider audience in my opinion. I do recognize that doesn't matter though as well.
From there I'll shift this over to the acting. Our star here of Grant does great. I like how she takes on the character. It is interesting that there is a surreal feel of everyone around her while she is grounded and it gives a disoriented feel that fits the movie. Singh is fine, but falls into what I just said. That doesn't hurt the movie. I thought that Yasmine Al-Bustami as Edie was solid as May's assistant. Kausar Mohammed as Sarah who is May's sister-in-law as well. She is interesting with how she acts and relays information in regards to her brother Ted. I also liked cameos by Kristina Klebe as a woman at a book signing and Chase Williamson as Charlie the medic. The cast is fine for what was needed.
Then really the last things to go into would be the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. For the former, it does look like this movie went practical with what they used. I'm a big fan there and it looked good. We get a solid amount of blood that worked. This movie is shot very well. It also helps with building that surreal feel. Aside from that, the soundtrack was interesting. We get songs that the lyrics fit what we were seeing. I liked that. We also get this sound of keys jangling that is associated with the man appearing. That actually makes a lot of sense for the reveal.
So then in conclusion, I think this movie has a good message, but I just don't love how it is presented. I do understand that as a male, I won't be able to fully understanding the feeling that May or the other women are experiencing. For me though, I think the delivery is handled better, it can hit a wider audience. The acting is good though. Grant does a solid job as May and the rest of the cast builds this interesting surreal feel. This is also aided by the cinematography and soundtrack. The effects we get are also good here. With my issues, I think this movie is over average. It is just lacking to go any higher for me.
My Rating: 6 out of 10