Benny Loves You (2020) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Benny Loves You (2020) Review

Horrorific content by Christina Dee on January 31st, 2021 | Movie Review | Comedy, Killer, Doll

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Jack is desperately trying for a new start in life, but when he throws away his childhood bear Benny, it's a move that can only end in death.

Benny Loves You was directed by Karl Holt and stars Claire Catwright, George Collie and James Parsons.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Teddy Scorned

Benny Loves You Review

If you’ve ever wondered how a classic “boy and his teddy” story would play out within a horror context, you’re in luck. Benny Loves You is writer-director Karl Holt’s freshman attempt, and it’s a doozie. It takes the killer doll premise you’re familiar with from classics like the Child’s Play franchise and Puppet Master to interesting new places. Holt also stars as the film’s lead alongside Claire Cartwright, George Collie, James Parsons, and others in supporting roles.

Benny Loves You starts on familiar ground by using a couple of well-known horror tropes as a foundation – the unbalanced adult with an unhealthy attachment to his parents and the supernatural toy come to life. Jack is a stunted, childlike man who not only still lives with his parents but very much continues to play the role of their child. Despite somehow being gainfully employed, there’s not much hope for his future as a functional human, as he’s also gross, immature, and stunningly unintelligent. His childhood toys are still a considerable part of his life, as well, including a bear-like fuzzy stuffed animal called Benny.

When Jack’s parents unexpectedly pass away, leaving him utterly on his own, he struggles to step up and truly become an adult for the first time in his life. The first order of business is to gain a promotion and hopefully earn enough money to retain the home he grew up in, so Jack decides he needs to grow up in a hurry. He starts by discarding his childish belongings, including his beloved Benny.

However, Benny has his own thoughts about that plan. He wastes no time in coming to life and working his way back into Jack’s good graces. At first, he simply acts as a friend and tries to help his human buddy cope with everything that’s going on. But at some point, Benny decides instead that he can best help Jack by murdering anyone who threatens him or jeopardizes their relationship. What follows is a bloodbath of epic proportions.

There’s not much to Benny Loves You beyond that, but there really doesn’t need to be. This is the type of film you don’t expect much from because it sounds a little dumb, and this film meets expectations in that regard. However, it’s also surprisingly entertaining and shows quite a lot of creativity in how it’s executed.

Benny Loves You didn’t come attached to much of a budget, but it’s clear that most of it went into making Benny into as formidable a villain as possible. That turned out to be a smart decision because he absolutely makes this movie. Unlike other demonic toys from other films (like Chucky, to name just one example), Benny is genuinely cute. You can picture a child falling in love with him, and he has a strange charm that helps the audience love him, too.

Of course, this gives the over-the-top, violent ways Benny commits murder after murder a lot more impact. The overall effect is pretty unforgettable – something you don’t see coming when you sit down to watch a film like this. The screen time given to Jack and the other characters is significantly less memorable, even dragging at times, but Benny is watchable enough to help you overlook it.

Worth Watching?

Benny Loves You is one of those films that almost has no business being as good as it is. Its humor and creativity balance out its flaws beautifully, making the film as a whole well worth checking out. That said, if you love quirky, off the wall horror that entertains while not taking itself too seriously, you owe it to yourself to check out Benny.

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