“If you can’t find a friend, make one,” uttered May’s mom as she was giving a doll name Suzie to her child. Starting out quite slow, the movie then becomes a combination of both real life and psychological horror that obviously gives goose bumps to the conventional audience like me.
May is a very unique character not only because of her physical difference, as seen in her lazy eye, but also of her psychological disposition. Starting when she was young, she already found herself in a ver difficult situation to socialize and make new friends. Aside from being awkward in herself, especially in actions and words, she also has some sort of an extreme “emo” side with a desire for blood and pain. In fact, she perfectly fits in the realm of sadomasochism as she seemingly enjoys pain, whether inflicted by it or inflicting it, as seen in different scenes throughout the movie. One particular scene that frightened me was when she and Adam were watching a weird short clip that portrayed a couple eating each other. Strikingly, May did not even show a single sign of slight disgust while watching the film and even tried to bite Adam when both of them were in the process of having sex.
What we can see here is a character in May that is seemingly stronger than Adam and the rest of her friends. Fitting Noel Carol’s definition of horror, we immediately sense how May does not fit into our typical conventions, especially because she can be seen as very masculine in things that disgust and frightens even the most masculine of males. Society’s bullying, however, only aggravated her situation that ultimately led to the gruesome murders we have witnessed in the end. Rejected by friends and the people she values the most, she eventually resorts to desperation by turning into a gruesome monster – objectifying her “friends” and killing them for their valued body parts in the process.
It is quite interesting to see how there is a reversal of roles throughout the movie. Usually reserved as the role of men, May becomes the one who objectifies her friends, particularly Adam and his hand, to suit her own desires. Moreover, in the final scenes, we see May as both the victim and the monster. With her gaze upon herself and her doll, we eventually see how she becomes punished by her own actions because the doll simply cannot “see” her, forcing her to cut her eye off. This is very symbolical, especially because the doll, a possible symbol for the monstrous acts of May, eventually sees her through her own eyes. With this gaze, we find that both May and the doll, assumed to be the monster reflection of May, find consolation with one another simply because of the mutual understanding between the two – especially in defining norms and social categories.
In the end, May becomes horrific simply because of her power to objectify the people around her, especially men. Sharing the same eyes with the doll, May identifies herself as both the victim and the monster – one who is capable to change the conventions because of the conventions itself. While I found the movie very disturbing, I especially liked how the character of May offered me a new insight about horror, especially relating to how the genre is woman-centered and how it relatively raises the woman to new roles in society, subjugating the men around her.