Benny Loves You (2019) | Directed by Karl Holt
Colour | 94 Minutes
Written by Karl Holt | Starring Karl Holt, Claire Cartwright, George Collie
Benny Loves You is an original comedy horror about a possessed, jealous toy that will kill anyone who gets too close to his grown-up owner. This film has it all! Comedy, horror, gore aplenty, and a sympathetic main character in Jack (Karl Holt).
The dialogue in Benny Loves You is frequently funny; the awkwardness of Jack as he sneaks around the office to avoid his boss or to dodge Dawn’s advances isn’t laugh-out-loud, but more the quaint British humour you see in films like Extra Ordinary (review). There’s also plenty of black humour surrounding Benny and his murders, not least with the dog, Precious! What I really liked about Benny Loves You is that from start to finish, the horror doesn’t let up.
Benny can be found wreaking havoc throughout the entire film; not just glimpses like you would have in many other monster movies, done usually for budgetary reasons. The comedic, yet eerie way in which Benny moves and limited phrases reminds me of the Elmo toy my sister had, which makes him even more menacing as he is just like other toys.
One criticism I did find with Benny Loves You was that I couldn’t see Benny ever killing Jack, because he just wants his owner to love him. I thought Benny might injure him like a crazed fan would (for example, Annie Wilkes in Misery), but other than that Jack was always going to be safe. With that being said, just as Benny killing spree begins there are several dark comedy moments concerning the police, where Jack could have been arrested had they noticed the carnage. This made me fear for Jack.
Plotwise I thought Jack working as a toy designer was brilliant as he can work Benny into his designs, and it provides the main character with more sympathy than just financial woes. Through the talents of Karl Holt (who also wrote and directed Benny Loves You), the character of Jack is well-acted as a bumbling loner who hasn’t got over one problem, before another pops up; reminding me of various Simon Pegg-style characters. The rest of the acting is okay, but Benny does steal the show.
In conclusion, through multiple comedic and horror elements, this is one of the most original and fun movies I’ve seen in ages and I truly cared for the main character.
Benny Loves You is available now on VOD, Blu-ray, and DVD from Epic Pictures and DREAD.