Brea Grant’s Lucky

I struggled with Lucky, a new horror film billed as innovative and groundbreaking and yes it’s well made, yes it’s themes are incredibly important but you have to fashion a story that makes sense and draws you in around said themes or all you’re left with is abstraction without any proper narrative tissue to cling to. This is written by and stars Brea Grant, an actress whose work I loved in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II and some of the later seasons of NBC’s Heroes, where she played the Quicksilver proxy. Here she plays a suburban woman who is attacked one night in her own home by a masked man. She wounds the guy and he runs off, but the next night he shows up again. And the next night again. And again, and so on. When she tells her husband he more or less shrugs it off with a non-reaction. Her friends and the police seems to have the same lukewarm indifference so she’s stuck in this surreal twilight zone where she’s the only person who finds it concerning that the same intruder comes back night after night to torment her, no one in her life properly believes, listens or takes her seriously and she feels alienated and outmatched by both her attacker as well as the people and support systems in her life that are supposed to care. See where this is going? It’s a fabulous concept for a film and the fear, panic and paranoia is well executed on top of a terrific performance from Grant… however… the script does absolutely *nothing* to explain this concept from a story/script point of view beyond “she’s attacked every night by the same dude, no one really believes her and she’s basically on her own in fighting back.” Then, it starts happening on a mass scale all throughout the city like some kind of violent epidemic and everyone who is not the attacker or the victim seems to just carry on like nothing much of anything’s happening. The film makes absolutely zero effort to explain this beyond simply showing it happening, and as a result it completely tanks itself, and doesn’t work whatsoever as anything close to a coherent narrative. Now, this is a tricky one to review because of the subject matter itself so let me spell it out clearly: there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that these themes are incredibly important, that violence/assault towards women is a very serious matter that needs to be addressed both in art or society, and so too the endemic indifference and non-believing nature of others in their lives who either turn a blind eye or don’t care. It’s so important. However: these filmmakers made their story *purely* from an abstract, allegorical point of view and didn’t mesh in a storytelling device or proper narrative to support it, and that to me felt lazy, incomplete and incoherent, and I disliked the film. Anyone out there hollering “you just didn’t get it because you’re a man and this film wasn’t made *for* you” into the echo chamber can stop right there. I succinctly and pristinely understood these themes, and understand how important they are, but that doesn’t change the fact that the film itself, as a piece of art, was not a successful endeavour and my saying so in a review doesn’t immediately imply that I’m discrediting anyone’s experiences or these social issues overall. I shouldn’t have to explain this so in depth but some people out there really seem to struggle with it, so there it is. Well made film from a technical standpoint, an absolute knockout of an original score by Jeremy Zuckerman, fantastic performance by Brea Grant and very important themes… but ultimately it falls flat on its face.

-Nate Hill

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