May (2002)

If you can't find a friend... make one.
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May - If you can't find a friend... make one.

Occasionally a truly unique horror movie emerges and reminds you of the hidden horror talent that exists in relative obscurity in the USA. May is a prefect example of such a movie and has totally reinvigorated my lust for American horror. Far from your traditional slasher movie, May probably doesn't even fit into this category until the final scenes, in reality the movie is more of a creepy love story until the ending when the blood begins to flow.

The story revolves around a young woman named May, sweet and innocent on the outside but a little twisted on the inside due to being brought up by an overbearing and obsessive mother. Bullied at school due to having to wear an eye patch to correct a lazy eye, May finds social situations difficult and finds solace in her dolls. One particular doll, that was her mother's prize possession and is kept in a glass box to keep it in pristine condition, is her best friend and in May's mind this doll represents her mother. She speaks to the doll and she hears it speak back, this doll is central to the plot and May's disturbing love/hate relationship with it adds a freaky feel to the whole scenario that is May's life behind closed doors.

May has a tendency to focus on the perfect or imperfect parts of people and when she falls madly in love with a local guy with perfect hands she is forced into uncomfortable social situations which her life of isolation has not prepared her for. To further complicate her life a girl she works with falls in love with her and the world seems like a warm and loving place filling May with an inner peace.

Things soon change when May realizes that people a far from wholly perfect and when the harsh reality of life and love let her down she begins her quest to create the perfect companion in the only way that she knows how. This is when the story takes a much darker tone and all of the subtle quirks of May's personality come to fruition and reveal how twisted and mentally unstable she really is.

The majority of this movie is an intense look into a not quite functioning mind. A number of scenes begin to get a bit twisted but then come to nothing allowing the viewer to slip back into that secure place which makes the movie's conclusion so much more unexpected and shocking. Angela Bettis makes a superb job of playing the vulnerable, naïve but slightly crazy May and gives you a real empathy for the character, endearing you to her which once again adds impact to the splattery end of the movie.

The direction of the movie reminds me of the best parts of Audition and Maniac (both amazing movies in their own right), the false sense of security plus an in-depth look in the mind of a nutcase. I definitely recommend that you watch this hidden gem of a horror movie, it is original and thought provoking with all of the necessary bits required for a horror classic plus a twist of dark humor thrown in for good measure.
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