May (Brea Grant) is a self-help writer whose latest book isn’t doing so well on the market. She’s struggling for sales and can’t figure out why it’s happening. In the middle of the night, in her safe suburban home, she hears someone breaking in. She wakes her husband who tells her matter-of-factly, that it’s The Man who has come to kill her. In fact, he comes every night. They both rise and confront The Man (who wears a mask that distorts his appearance) and kill him. They call the police but by the time the cops arrive, the body has disappeared. The next day, her husband takes off, saying he can’t handle her anymore and needs a break. Thus begins an escalating fall into weirdness, as each night The Man returns to try and kill her, and each night, she dispatches him. The police go from believing her to treating her like she’s losing her mind. Her friend is supportive but helplessly ineffectual. This is a problem May must confront and solve on her own. One night, while sitting in a dark parking structure, May gets attacked yet again. Only this time, she sees other women getting attacked, too, by their own personal Man, all masked, all violent and extreme. Some of them die, others escape. They plead for her help but May decides she can’t help them all, she doesn’t have the time or energy. She can only help herself. In the end, the cycle of violence continues, unabated, every day, as she learns to live with it. Finally, she unmasks The Man, and it is then she finds the true answers as to why this keeps happening.
Lucky is an interesting film. It plays on Slasher tropes and does so very effectively. We get the initial attack but it’s shaded by this knowledge that something isn’t right. This isn’t just a one-time deal. This is truly a killer who never dies, who always comes back, and he never stops. It’s a metaphor, of course. This is a hyperbolic telling of what women face every day in their lives, the microagressions and other, more overt antagonisms. They’re making a point here by blowing it all up, making it surreal and fantastic, larger than life. This isn’t an attempt to portray these things in a rational light because they are not rational things. This is the story of women and what they have to deal with, constantly, taken to an exaggerated effect. In this sense, the movie works wonderfully. But it also works on other levels. The satire is sharp and effective, and the humor is cutting and brutal. And yeah, the set-pieces are terrific, too. This one kind of has it all; you just need to be patient with it.
This is a clever film that requires much thought and rumination. I’ve read interviews with the filmmakers and I think I get where they’re driving, but there is still so much more to be uncovered and discovered. It packs a lot on its back and repeated viewings reward the viewer. This movie works in layers and the deeper you dig, the more you get out of it. Or, if you want, you can just enjoy it as a Slasher. A weird Slasher, for sure. It will be streaming on Shudder starting in 2021, so be on the lookout for it.