May: A movie about making friends

When I first saw advertisements for the movie May, I didn’t know what to make of it. I decided to check it out since I always enjoy a good movie where the main character loses their sanity.  After I watched it I found myself having a great time.  I enjoyed the overall creepiness of the movie and how much I was able to relate to the main character.

The plot is about a woman named May (played by Angela Bettis) who was traumatized as a child due to the fact she had a lazy eye and was unable to make any friends.  Her only friend was a doll her mother gave her as a birthday gift.  The focus is on her during present times as she now works as a veterinarian and still has a difficult time making friends.  The feeling of loneliness starts to weigh in on May as she fails with each person she comes in contact with.  It pushes her to a point where she finally begins to snap.

This movie does a great job of handling such a relatable subject as you find yourself sympathizing with May.  I also liked how innocent they made her from the beginning of the movie to the climax where she is portrayed more as a victim rather than a murderer.  She acts weird and does weird things, but there isn’t any real malice behind it.

Even at the climax where she starts to kill people, you still feel sorry for her.  Behind it all, May just wants someone that understands her and would want to be her friend, which is something we can all relate to. What I also like about the movie is how the more violent scenes have little to no music in the background which, as I mentioned in previous posts, is a good way to raise tension.

The movie also reminded me of the movie Carrie.  It had a similar plot of a weird girl trying to make friends, but doesn’t and kills people at the end.  Only instead of telekinesis, knives are used.

For Director Lucky McKee, part of the inspiration behind the film came from the times he felt loneliness and that it is a topic that everyone can relate to.  It was also heavily influenced by the works of Italian Director Dario Argento.  In an interview with Bettis, the making of May involved becoming familiar with the character and being able to map out the arc.  This was also the first time Bettis was able to work with someone her own age.

I can understand why this movie can be a hit or miss with some people since the ending can be hard to understand.  Personally, I find that it fits with the movie’s theme as it shows the completed circle of the main character’s insanity.  Overall, the movie is a fun ride into madness that can bring up emotion.  It is also a good portrayal of how the feeling of loneliness can push a person to do the most unspeakable things imaginable.

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Maniac: A look into the mind of a killer

What makes Maniac so unique is that the entire film you see what the protagonist sees.  This is a technique in the filming called point of view (POV) where the film is shown through the first person perspective of the main character.  This type of filming can be seen in movies such as documentaries, mockumentaries, and found footage films.  The movie uses this technique in a more cryptic sense as it uses it to watch through the eyes of a killer of a horror movie.  The killer ,played by Elijah Wood, is a man named Frank who runs his mother’s mannequin shop.  At first he gives the appearance of being a nice guy.  It is when we get more in to the movie that we see this is not the case as his true nature is revealed as you witness first hand him murdering his victims.  What makes this movie more creepy is the type of person the character portrays.  We all have seen lonely people that we want to feel sympathy for, but can’t help to feel cautious around.

In an interview the movie’s director Franck Khalfoun talks about how he wanted to take the “nice guy” image of Wood and use it as to make a more fearful killer.  He explains that Wood’s character can draw people in and make them feel safe until it’s too late. There is a scene near the end of the movie that gives the best example as Frank (Wood’s character) talks to a woman name Anna (played by Nora Arnezeder) who he befriends earlier in the movie and comforts her after finding out her friend is missing.  The entire scene we see the change in Frank’s character and the atmosphere of the scene as Anna starts to realize that he is not what he seems.

In the movie Frank uses online dating to find new victims which is more realistic compared to other films where the killer usually finds it victims in some random forest or abandon hospital.  Which makes the situation more unsettling toward the viewer as it hits a little too close to home. Elijah Wood explained that he felt excited to play this role, and the fact that it is filmed in POV was more interesting and creative as the whole movie is seen through the killer.  He was fascinated by how it can make the audience feel uncomfortable while watching it.  The movie is a remake of the 1980 Maniac directed by William Lustig.  The remake is set closer to present time, and unlike the original which was set in New York the remake is set in Los Angeles. Although this movie is a remake of a classic, it adds its’ own frightening spin as it dives inside the mind of a sick man.  All and all it definitely deserves a look at.