Rating 3½

Written and Directed by Lucky McKee

Starring Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto,
Anna Faris, James Duval, Nicole Hiltz, Chandler Riley Hecht, Kevin Gage and Merle Kennedy

May Dove Canady (played by Chandler Riley Hecht as a child) has a lazy eye and has to wear an eye-patch. She is shunned by the other children in her school and overprotected by her mother (Merle Kennedy), who gives her a doll, saying it will be a her best friend, although she is not allowed to take it out of its glass case.

As a young adult, May (now played by Angela Bettis) suffers from paralysing shyness and an almost complete absence of social skills. She encounters various people who are drawn to her because, they say, they like weird. These include Adam (Jeremy Sisto), a local mechanic and amateur horror filmmaker who she has a crush on and Polly (Anna Faris), the receptionist at the animal hospital where she works who seduces her. However, what they consider to be weird and the extremes to which May is prepared go in her search for connection are two very different things.

This is a slow-moving and quite unusual film, a portrait of a seriously disturbed individual whose actions are influenced by her isolation and the inability of those around her to identify that her “weirdness” goes way beyond mere affectation. While I found it very hard to understand how Adam, in particular, did not recognise May’s disturbed patterns of behaviour right from the start, this is still a very affective and increasingly unsettling story, with excellent performances by the three leads.

I do not imagine it would be to all tastes, but I would recommend it to those who have an interest in unusual horror films and psychological thrillers.

‘May’ has a 68% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes from a combined total of 63 reviews. It grossed just $150,000 at the box office in America, during a limited release in February 2003.

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