Benny Loves You really wants to be a cult sensation. You can tell by the filming and humor; you can tell by the outrageous kills. Out of those three, only the humor works, and even that is shaky. Benny Loves You has some laughs, but it still tries way too hard to be something it isn’t.
We follow Jack, a toy designer who, in an attempt to grow up, throws out all his childhood toys. One might question those actions, his profession taken into consideration, but Benny Loves You isn’t all too fussy about logic. Simultaneously with his house going into foreclosure, plush Benny comes alive and starts taking out anyone who tries to hurt Jack. And also anyone who loves him. Yes, Benny is a jealous, murderous little toy, and he enjoys graphic kills.
I suppose I should give Benny Loves You points for trying, but there is something insincere about the package. Instead of trying to be a mid-aughts Edgar Wright joint, writer/director/star Karl Holt should have doubled down on what the film really is: something within the Child’s Play sub-genre. Hold liberally attempts to cram in every trope of an edgy, funny horror-comedy, with sweeping cameras and over-the-top gore. It has all been done countless times before, and much better at that.
Fair is fair: Some individual scenes do hit home. The death of Jack’s parents, for example, brings forth giggles in all its gruesomeness.
Yet, Holt doesn’t know when to stop, and a slapstick death of a dog illustrates Holt’s misguided attempts to be edgy. It reminds me of a middle-school kid who will eat a bug, going,
Are you laughing now? Can we be friends?. Just stop trying so hard. A poorly animated doll torturing animals is not going to get you there.
Cult status has to happen organically. Psycho Goreman and Willy’s Wonderland work because of their earnestness. Sure, both give a wink, but only in passing. Their entertainment value comes naturally.
Benny Loves You tries and tries, yet keeps digging itself deeper into the ground. I’d have a hard time recommending it to anyone but the most hardcore Chucky fans.
Letterboxd summary: Jack, a man desperate to improve his life, throws away his beloved childhood plush, Benny. It’s a move that has disastrous consequences when Benny springs to life with deadly intentions!
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||2/6|