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Movie poster for May
Directed by Lucky McKee
Produced by 2Loop Films
Written by Lucky McKee
Starring Angela Bettis
Music by Jaye Barnes Luckett
Cinematography Steven Y. Yedlin
Editing by Kevin Ford
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date(s) 2002
Running time 93m
Language English
Budget $500,000 (estimated)

May is a 2002 horror film. It stars Angela Bettis, Anna Faris, and Jeremy Sisto, and was written and directed by Lucky McKee.[1]



The plot revolves around an awkward, lonely young woman named May Dove Canady (Bettis). She had a troubled childhood due to her lazy eye which caused her to feel abnormal and out of place. May's mother takes her to an eye doctor, who suggests that May wear an eye patch to correct her vision. Unfortunately, this only encourages the other children to make fun of her, most notably on their first day of school, when one of her fellow students asks her if she is a pirate. She has very few social interactions with people throughout her life with her only "true friend" being a glass-encased doll named Suzy made by her mother and given to May for her birthday. After presenting her with the gift, her mother tells her, "If you can't find a friend, make one."

As an adult, May works at a Veterinary Hospital assisting with surgeries. Her optometrist fixes May's lazy eye, first with glasses, then with a special form of contact lens. As May attempts to interact with the people around her, she sees Adam (Sisto), a local mechanic, around town and begins to follow him. She times her visits to the laundromat and her lunch breaks with his in order to meet up with him so she can watch him. The seemingly perfect guy, Adam gets to know May and when she tells him that she's weird, he replies, "That's okay. I like weird". May has a fixation on his hands, which she considers to be the most attractive part of him, and Adam seems to find her attractive as well. They start dating and Adam teaches May to smoke cigarettes, teasing her when he realizes she has never smoked before. He gives her his pack of cigarettes and tells her to 'practice'. At the same time, May's lesbian colleague Polly (Faris) begins to show an attraction to May, while at the same time poking fun at her for her oddness. One day while May is feeling especially low, she makes a random remark that Polly has a beautiful neck. Polly then gives her pet cat Loopy to May, ostensibly because of her "bitch" landlord.

One day, Adam shows her a film he made for his university titled Jack and Jill. The film reveals a story of two young lovers who go on a picnic and end up eating each other. May becomes aroused by the blatant cannibalism in the film and, during what started as an intense session of making out, gets carried away and bites Adam on the lip, causing him to bleed profusely. Adam is finally disturbed by May's strange personality and leaves. May feels guilty and blames her doll Suzy (who frightened Adam upon viewing her) for encouraging her to make bad choices. She shouts at her and shoves her in the cupboard.

May then inquires about working at a school for disabled children, specifically for looking after the blind children she saw playing in the park near her work. She is especially interested in a lonely girl named Petey (David), who she feels she can identify with. The little girl also likes May so she gives her an ashtray made of clay with May's name carved into the center of it. At about this time, May finally gives in to Polly's wiles and starts a short affair.

After Adam stops calling her (weirded out because she drew blood while they were kissing), May goes to his house and accidentally overhears him and a friend calling her a loony and saying he's glad he could get rid of her. Heartbroken, May goes to see Polly only to find that she's with another girl named Ambrosia. Returning home, she's totally miserable and when Loopy refuses to come near her, she becomes enraged and throws the clay ashtray at the cat, striking her on the head and killing her. Over time, she becomes delusional, thinking that her doll Suzy is talking to her through a series of crackles from her glass case, more frequently when May tries to call Adam. This somehow signifies that Suzy is jealous of Adam and does not want May to be near him.

The following day, May sitting on a bench in the street when a punk boy named Blank (Duval) sits besides her and begins talking to her. He becomes interested in her odd remarks about people not being entirely perfect but only having perfect "parts". May doesn't like him at first, but then says she likes the tattoo he has on his arm. They go to May's house and when he goes to the freezer to get ice, he finds the cat's corpse wrapped in plastic wrap. Flabbergasted, he begins to panic and calls May a freak, infuriating her; she stabs him in the head with a pair of scissors.

Later, she goes to the school for blind kids and shows them Suzy, her doll, telling them that that is her best friend. The children cannot see it, so they want to touch. May tries to keep the doll away (as Suzy is delicate) and struggles with the kids until the doll falls and the glass case shatters into pieces all around the floor. The children begin to crawl about looking for the doll, and the glass cuts into their hands and knees. May also gets down on the floor to rescue Suzy, cutting herself in the process. She is covered in not only her blood, but the blood of the children as well.

Carrying the now-destroyed, blood-covered Suzy, May returns home. She is devastated at all the things that have happened to her. Suddenly, she realizes that the people she had known as her friends were not friends at all; there were only parts of them that she considered 'friends'. She simply comes to the conclusion that a perfect friend can only be made of all the perfect parts of the people she thought were her friends.

Thus, on Halloween night, she dresses up in a homemade costume similar to Suzy's dress and goes to Polly's house. May also adopts a "normal" manner, very unlike her usual innocent, childlike behavior, and starts addressing all who interact with her in a cold, impassive tone. At Polly's house, she and Polly carry on a normal conversation about work until May pulls out a couple of scalpels she stole from the animal hospital and puts them in each side of Polly's neck. Polly laughs at her, thinking this is a joke and stating that she knows that May would never hurt her until May actually starts cutting her neck, much to Polly's astonishment before dying.

Then Ambrosia arrives at the house, irritated at May's presence. May admires her legs and asks her to turn around for her. Ambrosia accepts, not without calling her a freak first and making derisive comments about her and Polly's previous relationship. After this, May stabs her on both sides of her head. Lastly, May goes to Adam's house. When she arrives there, she finds that Adam is with another girl called Hoop (for her hoop earrings) who lets May come in, much to Adam's annoyance. They sit at the table, and May asks Adam to touch her face. Adam refuses, something which leads into a discussion between May and Hoop, who tells her that Adam is hers, now. Finally, she lets Adam touch May, stating she "doesn't give a shit". He indignantly pokes May's forehead, at which point May stabs Hoop in the neck. Adam walks back and screams in horror, but May stabs him in the stomach.

Back at home, May starts designing her "new friend", which is basically a Frankenstein-esque life-sized rag doll made from her deceased friends. She uses Blank's arms, Polly's neck, Adam's hands, Ambrosia's legs, Hoop's ears (identifiable by the earrings), and Loopy's fur to substitute hair. The head and torso are different scraps of fabric stitched together and stuffed, while the other appendages are finally sewn together.

Once the macabre doll, named Amy - taken from the letters in May's name, which was written on the now-destroyed ashtray - is finished, she realizes that Amy can't actually see her. So, in a rush of misery, she gouges out her right eye (the lazy one) with the scissors. Crying in pain, she puts it on the head of Amy and sobbingly begs for the toy to look at her. Exasperated and in pain, May leans her head against Amy's shoulder. May sees her friend suddenly come to life and touch her face lovingly, with Adam's treasured hands. May smiles, and the credits roll.



It also features a score and original songs by Jaye Barnes Luckett of the rock group Poperratic (then known as Alien Tempo Experiment 13) and H is orange.


The film was given limited theatrical release to nine movie theaters in North America. To date the film has grossed $150,277 during its theatrical run. The film also grossed $99,023 in Spain and $15,049 in Taiwan.

Critical Reception

Roger Ebert granted the film four stars out of four, and called it "a horror film and something more and deeper, something disturbing and oddly moving" and characterized the dénouement as "a final shot that would get laughs in another kind of film, but "May" earns the right to it, and it works, and we understand it." Variety magazine critic David Rooney turned in a review that was more middle of the road, stating that the film was "More successful when the title character finally embarks on her bloody mission than in the dawdling buildup." NY Times critic Stephen Holden opined that "the performances are a cut or two above what you would find in the average slasher film. But in the end that's all it is."

The film has a "Fresh" rating (68%) among critics tallied at Rotten Tomatoes.

In 2006, the Chicago Film Critics Association named "May" the 61st scariest film ever made[2].

Bloody Disgusting ranked the film seventeenth in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article calling the film "criminally under-seen at the time of its release... The plotting itself manages to sidestep the usual slasher tropes as it slowly and inexorably unravels, all leading up to a quietly haunting conclusion that is as heart-wrenching as it is unnerving."[3]



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