InsidePulse DVD Review – Masters of Horror: Lucky McKee – Sick Girl


Directed by
Lucky McKee

Mike McKee …. Professor Malcolm Wolf
Misty Mundae …. Misty Falls
Angela Bettis …. Ida Teeter
Jesse Hlubik …. Max
Marcia Bennett …. Lana Beasley
Chandra Berg …. The Ladybug

The Show:

I remember when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino were in production on From Dusk till Dawn, and they spoke about how they were trying to emulate the style of several Stephen King novels. They talked about how the author would often go to great lengths to establish the normalcy of the worlds he had created, so when a horrific situation did befall his characters, you were already so invested in these people that the circumstances meant so much more. This is what I was thinking about while I watched Lucky McKee’s Masters of Horror entry, Sick Girl.

The story centers on Angela Bettis’ Ida Teeter, a lonely woman looking for love. Problem is, even though she’s really sweet, she’s an entomologist, and having “creepy crawlies” all over your apartment may tend to gross some people out. McKee does a pretty decent job of establishing Ida’s isolation early on, and does an even better job of making her “pets” seem very sympathetic. I’m not sure if it was a special effect or what, but when a little bug crawls onto Bettis’ hand and does a little dance to console her after being stood up, the moment is quite genuine.

Also feeling very genuine is the moment when Ida finally finds love with Misty Mundae’s Misty Falls. A hippy girl that loves to draw fairies, Misty and Ida exchange nervous glances and stutter while they fearfully try to ask each other out. Their first date is anxious, yet sweet. This would be a long and loving relationship if we didn’t know this was an episode of Masters of Horror

One thing is very evident from Sick Girl; Lucky McKee is a fairly talented director. Though I haven’t seen the man’s other works, you can see the man is quite gifted in the Horror field. Sick Girl is a very creepy and well crafted genre piece that slowly but surely cranks up its tension by hinting at the power of episode’s bug monster, until finally the love story and the monster movie collide to become a blood fest.

All involved should be pleased with their work. Angela Bettis is really pretty great here. Her loneliness always feels natural and never too forced. We feel good for her as she finds love with an interesting person. Her character is very easy to identify with, and when she finds Misty, we kind of fall for her too.

Misty is that girl that seems a little bit wild, but you’d totally like to ask out. Then when you find out how sweet she is, you realize you’ve fallen even harder. Misty Mundae has the harder job of the two leads as she’s got to be sweet and then introduce a side of darkness which is quite subtle and then grows and grows.

Other nifty supporting roles fall to Jesse Hlubik as Ida’s friend and colleague Max. He’s the perverted friend that’s still lovable because he actually cares for her. Also good is Marcia Bennett as Lana Beasley, Ida’s old fashioned landlord that doesn’t approve of the ladies’ relationship.

All in all, this is a really good chapter in the Masters of Horror series. Lucky McKee has crafted an exceedingly creepy episode with nice performances from all involved. While the director has not made 30 films like some of the other directors in this series, it’s nice to see that his was a voice that was included to make this very successful entry.

Score: 8.0 /10

The DVD:

The Video
Much like the other episodes I’ve seen, Sick Girl looks pretty nice. The episode is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

The Audio

Much like the rest of the series, the audio is quite good also. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is quite nice.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Interviews, and Trailers.

Commentary by director Lucky McKee, composer Jaye Barnes Luckett and actors Angela Bettis and Jesse Hlubik – The worst thing I think a commentary track can do is be silent. This track avoids this by keeping the anecdotes and ideas coming throughout. I especially like McKee’s comments on how the monster in the picture is a metaphor for the feeling that two people have when they’ve moved in together too soon.

Blood, Bugs and Romance – An Interview with Lucky McKee – This runs about 15 minutes. McKee talks about the different films that have influence him over the years as well as going over his memories of working on his feature films, such as May and All Cheerleaders Must Die.

Working with a Master: Lucky McKee – Though he hasn’t directed many films, McKee seems to have greatly effected those he has worked with. This Featurette has several interviews with actors who have starred with McKee, as well as Masters of Horror Creator Mick Garris, and all have nothing but praise to bestow upon the film maker.

Behind The Scenes: The Making of Sick Girl – This is just behind the scenes footage of the Sick Girl set. There’s some interesting stuff when they are filming the finale, but otherwise it’s pretty standard.

On Set: An Interview with Angela Bettis – This is a pretty nice interview with McKee’s usual star. I like that she’s not a “scream queen” or anything, she’s just a real actress with a particular voice on screen that McKee gives to her.

On Set: An Interview with Erin Brown (AKA: Misty Mundae) – Another nice interview with Mundae giving a lot of praise to her director.

On Set: An Interview with Brad MacDonald – McDonald is actually a member of the effects staff. He goes over a lot of the more gruesome elements of the episode and it’s fairly interesting.

Trailers – This is the same set of trailers you get on any Masters of Horror Volume, but it’s pretty plentiful.

Still Gallery

Lucky McKee Bio

Score: 7.0 /10

InsidePulse’s Ratings for Sick Girl
(OUT OF 10)