I am unsure what the title Lucky refers to in this unnerving slasher movie, as Brea Grant’s May’s experience is anything but. Getting stuck in a time-loop of perpetual dread in anticipation of an attacker to break in night after night, with no powers to stop it, doesn’t sound fortunate by any definition. Yet this absurdly surreal, often comical, horror – written by Grant and directed by Natasha Kermani- is a thoroughly entertaining proposition, nonetheless.
An averagely bad day turns into an abysmal night, when May is awoken by an intruder in the house. Waking up her husband Ted (Dhruv Uday Singh), he inexplicably proclaims the intrusion as a regular occurrence and proceeds to locate the gel masked perpetrator, effortlessly striking him down, only for him to instantly disappear. And then for the whole thing to be repeated the next night and the night after morphing the storyline into a tormenting groundhog scenario. These ambiguous turn of events, turn even more bizarre when Ted takes off after a seemingly minor argument, leaving his wife to fend against the attacker on her own.
The attacker’s face upon close inspection reveals him to be vacant dummy with a robotic single-minded focus to kill May. As an increasingly abstract, spaced-out texture starts to permeate – reflecting May’s increasingly disorientated state – her internal struggle is materialising right before our eyes. This bogeyman is perhaps emblematic of the myriad of threatening forces in her own life. From the nagging daily microaggressions, plaguing feelings of guilt or the persistence of past trauma.
Granted various points of Lucky leave you questioning the validity and the direction of things, but it eventually pays off. Not that it resolves itself into some tidy ending or some triumph-through-adversity transformation, but more for its conceptual progressiveness. The uncanny ways of how May’s anxieties are manifested and the ensuing psychological turmoil is conducive to the innovativeness we’ve been seeing in the horror genre of late.
Lucky is available to watch on Shudder.