New to stream this week is the psychological slasher movie, Lucky. The film dropped onto Shudder on Thursday March 4th, following its debut last year at the Fantasia Film Festival, and is now available for subscribers to stream.
Directed by Natasha Kermani, with a screenplay from Brea Grant (who also plays the lead character), Lucky follows the story of May – an author of a series of self-help books, who finds herself the unwitting target of a masked man. Every night, this strange and silent figure enters May’s home and every night he attempts to kill her.
After the first attempt on her life, and the life of her husband, May calls the police, but they are unable to do anything other than take statements. Her husband is also no help in the situation, as he disappears the next day, following a brief argument.
With no choice but to defend herself, May prepares to confront the masked man. But is she really the victim of a faceless intruder, or is there something more sinister at play?
Lucky is an interesting, but slightly disappointing movie. It is a horror film which has a very intriguing premise, guaranteed to stimulate discussions amongst its audience, yet at the same time it will leave some horror fans feeling underwhelmed.
It looks good; the soundtrack is suitably unnerving; and the stalk-and-slash storyline keeps things ticking over; but it all falls a little flat. I wanted to like it, but I found myself losing interest as it neared its conclusion.
The reason I started to lose interest is because I felt the film’s central ideas weren’t strong enough and the resolution wasn’t going to hit its target – and that’s exactly what happened. Its ideas didn’t quite come together and Lucky wanted me to delve far too much into the subtext of the movie, to feel satisfied with the ending, without giving me enough story for my efforts.
Yes, I am capable of delving into the subtext, and I understood this to be a movie born from recent discussions on equality, the ‘Me Too’ movement, and the concept of life being unfair; but it simply didn’t build a cast-iron story around this. I came away from my screening of Lucky feeling somewhat unsatisfied, which I don’t believe any filmmaker would want, and I largely believe this is because it needed a little bit more material to peg its concept on.
At no point did I feel as though I was watching something that hadn’t been carefully considered, but I did get the feeling it was perhaps trying too hard for its own good. This could have been a thought-provoking slasher movie with lofty ideas and a tight narrative, but instead it just missed the mark.
A movie such as The Babadook (2014) is a clever horror film, which manages to balance its subtext with the needs of the plot, to provide a complex and captivating story with a decent payoff. For me, Lucky didn’t hit the same bar, and I found myself disappointed with the end result.
Others will disagree, and argue that Lucky is cerebral horror at its very best – and that’s fine if the movie delivers for those audiences. But it didn’t deliver for me, and while there are some strong ideas on display, I would have liked something more.