Conform or be Weird

May is film written and directed by Lucky McKeea that is of the psychological horror genre released in the year 2002. The film is about the character, May, who tries to deal with her imperfections through life in her awkward way by conforming to society’s norms.

May is a veterinary assistant, helping in things such as surgeries. She is socially awkward due to the fact that she has a lazy eye. Growing up, she was made fun of, which results to her being the way she is now. The only friend she considers she have is her doll, Suzie, given by her mother telling her that “if you can’t find a friend, make one”. Admittedly, the character is a bit weird in the way it is cute in some scenes but really creepy in another. Suzie represents May’s suppressed tendency or the monster from within as we see that she changed when Suzie was destroyed. Almost instantly, May is triggered when her doll was broken into pieces, we see her give up and don’t try at all.  It was quite weird for May to dress as Suzie for Halloween.

Rejected by society for her quirks, May tried numerous times to normalize herself, even see the character buying corrective lenses to correct her condition. However, she ultimately fails at trying to be normal. She was tricked numerous times by several people leading her to believe that they had the same interests. Adam for one, said he liked weird, but when May decided to show her kind of weird, he immediately rejected her. Even Polly, May’s colleague, was part of the society that broke her. May was lured by Polly’s lesbian tendencies eventually giving in to her lustful desires. However, once Polly got what she wanted she treated May not as precious the first time around. These individuals were targeted May when she ended on a killing spree. She just wanted to have someone that values her and that was what she seems to have gotten towards the end.

In Benshoff’s “The Monster and the Homosexual”, he describes how a homosexual would always be described as queer. Both a monster and homosexual is placed in a closet, but when they get out of that same closet, it incites fear to society. Homosexuality was outlined to a threat to heterosexuality as it challenges the normal society. It questions traditional gender roles and even the structures of a family. Even in homosexual relationships, the norms by which we are accustomed to are enforced. In every homosexual stereotype, there is a man and woman in the relationship. Benshoff mentions, “The stereotype of the butch and femme halves of the homosexual couple (or the monster queer couple) reflects the inherent sexism in the heterosexual model: the sexist ideology enforces the belief that men and women cannot be equal by disallowing the possibility of a relationship between two (same-sex) equals.” We are in fact categorized to be being heterosexuals due to the presence of homosexuals.

In the character of May, we see what could perceived to be a bisexual woman, having both a heterosexual and homosexual relationship in the movie. More importantly, her relationships with Adam and Polly are what Benshoff describes. In Adam, we are brought to attention the society norm as the heterosexual relationship conforms to what is considered to be the traditional gender roles. On the other hand, with Polly, we see that it breaks the every characterization of a homosexual relationship stereotype. Between Polly, May and Ambrosia — Polly’s other girl, there is no butch and femme in fact all girls are very feminine. The movie tries to breakaway from stereotypes even presenting us with a “doll” that is made out of different parts of people rendering it genderless.

In the film, we see a girl that struggles to conform with society as she throws every thing she got but is still denied acceptance. When she was denied that approval, she reaches a breaking point eventually leaving a trail of blood behind her. I must say that May is not scary however it was cringe worthy. The awkward protagonist deals with life through her own ways but it is very unnatural to act that way. However, it is understandable given that all her life, she is ridiculed to be weird and she eventually became just that due to the lack of interaction she had as a kid. Overall, May just wanted to have a friend. Similar to Geppetto and Pinocchio, May delivers us a example if you can’t get it, make it.


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