Rarely have the words, “Wait—what?” been so apt. At first glance, Becky looks to be a typical family drama, with dad Jeff (Joel McHale) taking his rebellious teen daughter Becky (played by The Haunting Of Hill House’s Lulu Wilson) for a bonding weekend getaway, only to surprise her with the arrival of Jeff’s new girlfriend Kayla (Amanda Brugel). Becky storms off to sulk, which leaves just enough time for the appearance of a man asking about his lost dog. Only, surprise: He’s not after a dog—he’s a brutal escaped convict with a giant swastika tattooed on his head, looking for a key to...some sort of fortune. And he’s willing to torture Jeff and Kayla until Becky surrenders to tell him what he wants to know. Oh, did we mention this monstrous killer is played by Paul Blart himself, Kevin James?
It’s not just the out-of-left-field casting that engenders the initial snorts of disbelief, though watching James spout sadistic one-liners is a bit funny upon initial viewings. But what really pushes this trailer into ridiculous territory is the way it suddenly transforms into a reverse Home Alone, only instead of a resourceful Kevin McAllister, Becky mutates into an adolescent John Wick, raining down terror on James’ villainous goons. Setting deadly traps, whispering nursery rhymes of promised revenge over the walkie talkie—it’s all extremely over the top, and there’s already several drinking games we’ve thought of to pair with this trailer that will have you soused by the end of the two minute running time. (“Drink every time it makes you laugh” is probably the simplest, though there are some fleshed-out rules to a checklist of action-movie moments embodied by an everyday teenage girl that are promising.) Perhaps this narrative is the inevitable outcome of Paul Blart being driven to madness by the events of his first two films?
Let’s be clear: Becky might be fucking awesome. Between the against-type stunt casting of James and the outlandish setup, there’s real potential for this to be fun as hell, especially if it plays everything as self-seriously as the trailer implies it does. The directing team of Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott have delivered flawed but reasonably fun movies in the past (Cooties, Bushwick), and this might be their chance to level up to something of genuine quality. (Especially if they’ve shaken off the annoyingly pervasive contemporary belief that lengthy and heavily choreographed tracking shots automatically equal tension.) But for now, we’re pouring a drink and playing the trailer again—remind us to set a bottle of Tylenol by the nightstand for when we’re done, though.