Dejected by her publisher’s rejection of her latest self-help book, ‘Go It Alone,’ May (writer Brea Grant) returns to her picture perfect home behind a white picket fence overflowing with flowers. But in the middle of the night any sense of security is lost when a masked man (Hunter C. Smith) breaks in. Making matters worse, her partner Ted (Dhruv Uday Singh) informs her that he comes every night intending to kill them and when May responds in the most logical manner, Ted responds by leaving because he ‘can’t stand to be around her when she’s being like this.’ Yet some people think May’s “Lucky.”
Laura's Review: B-
This blackly comic feminist horror film features an almost entirely female crew led by director Natasha Kermani telling a story written by its star. Grant, whose committed performance anchors the film, uses the specter of a masked killer who reappears daily to address the myriad ways woman are dismissed from micro aggressions to outright misogyny. She also keeps us guessing throughout as to where, exactly, this is all heading and while the film’s climax may not be as sharp as what led up to it, “Lucky” always keeps us thinking.
At first, we’re just left with Ted’s oddly nonchalant behavior to contend with. It’s bad enough he seems to take a nightly visit from a psycho killer in stride, but he’s also peevish that May didn’t have his back while he was hunting the guy with a golf club. In an amusing nod to “Halloween” when May asks about leaving him out cold, Ted responds ‘Honey I’m sure he’s already gone,’ and sure enough, turning on the stairway landing to look back down, May sees that he is right.
The next day it is May who deals with the aftermath, visiting the hardware store and boarding up their broken dining room window. As dusk approaches and no Ted, she begins to make calls, but he is nowhere to be found. She’ll face that masked killer alone. And every time she calls the police, they treat her as if her attacker is a psychological manifestation of marital problems. And it’s not just men who react this way - even her sister-in-law (Kausar Mohammed) seems determined to find May at fault. Her own self-help book about doing for oneself may be little more than self-fulfilling prophecy.
Grant uses the horror genre to explore how often women’s pain, fear or threats against them are brushed off as hysteria or simply given no credence. Kermani uses the limited locations (mainly May’s home and a parking garage) to good effect, slasher movie conventions creating suspense, the killer’s repeat visits upping the ante. In a subtle touch, any time someone slips in a micro aggression, the speaker’s vocal timbre takes on a distinctly negative quality, as if the audio was distorted ever so slightly. “Lucky” uses horror to send an important message while still treating its audience to a good, if somewhat gory, time.
"Lucky" premieres on the Shudder streaming platform on 3/4/21.