Writer-star Brea Grant turns the everyday misogyny and sexism that women face into slasher horror in Lucky.
An intriguing premise sees self-help writer May (Grant) stalked by a mysterious masked man intent on killing her. Each night, the unnamed figure returns. He and May face off in bloody battles before he vanishes into thin air. Tiring from the lack of help and support from those around her, May decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands.
Directed by Natasha Kermani, Lucky transforms the horrors of gaslighting and victim-blaming into a slasher. It has a villain who intends to slay, slowly draining the will and strength of its victim. From the physical threats to the microaggressions that are present, Lucky is a metaphor for the female experience. Faced with infinite villains, women can never let their guard down in society as safe spaces are obliterated.
Anchored by a strong performance from Grant, the film’s intriguing sci-fi-tinged plot shows May as she’s presented in her public and private life. Professionally, she’s the embodiment of the American dream. A successful self-help author with multiple books and a devoted fan following, her life seems complete with a gorgeous house and loving husband to go home to each night. But behind closed doors, May is on the constant edge of a nervous breakdown. She’s struggling with pressures in her work and home life as she fights for the success, the accolades and the safety she’s been “lucky” enough to achieve – especially as a white woman – in the form of the masked man who unrelentingly stalks her every move daily.
But any happy ending can’t really be all that happy. Even if she finds survival as the Final Girl, May’s everyday horrors as a woman in modern society are far from over.
Kermani lets the narrative unfold in a slow and deliberate way with the characters revealing themselves at their own pace. Grant’s character development helps take the huge, overarching themes of the film and break it down into a digestible concept. Its hero needs to strike a balance between going it alone versus finding strength in numbers – a very timely double-edged sword.
While not all the messages and execution of Lucky land as strongly as they could, overall, this is a neatly packaged production that will satisfy your need for high-brow horror that still delivers some bloodshed.
A casualty of the pandemic, Lucky was originally slated to premiere at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival before its last-minute cancellation last March. The film finally got its premiere at the 2020 Fantasia Film Festival and will now arrive on Shudder on March 4.