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31 Horror Movies I Own #3: May

May stands out as one of my favorites because it’s so far from the typical horror-film plot that it’s wholly unlike anything else I’ve seen. It’s like a horror movie wrapped around a super-creepy psychological thriller, and the unique thing about May is May, herself.

Angela Bettis plays the title character, and even though she’s totally awkward, strange, and more than a little creepy, you find yourself rooting for her throughout the film.

A loner who’s scarred from an over-protective mother, May becomes obsessed with broody, Dario-Argento-obsessed mechanic Adam (Jeremy Sisto), and in particular, his hands. After an attempt to connect with him by bonding over a short horror film he directed (which is FANTASTIC) goes terribly awry, May gets pushed over the edge of sanity she was sort-of living on.

While spinning out of control, she has another encounter with Polly (Anna Faris), the dumb-as-rocks receptionist who works with May at a vet clinic, which also doesn’t turn out quite the way May wanted.

Now feeling rejected, broken-hearted, and enraged, May decides that since she can’t get people to love her, she’ll just “make” someone who will.

There are plenty of squirmy, gore-riffic moments leading up to the conclusion (which takes place on Halloween!); including a class full of blind children on hands & knees on broken glass—but it’s the really great stuff is saved for the final moments.

Most of the bloody scenes in this one (including the final) are SO uncomfortable that I can’t sit still—even after multiple viewings—but that’s exactly what I love about it. That, and the perfectly attuned sense of humor – re: “You got a couple of cold ones in there?”

Director Lucky McGee turned out a masterpiece of visual goodness and true horror the first time out. I recommend this one to everybody because it’s so great—and I’d also tell you to check out Sick Girl (a Masters of Horror episode that also stars Bettis) and The Woods. Both are good, just not as perfect as May.

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