Benny Loves You (2021) But You May Love Him More
Title: Benny Loves You
First Non-Festival Release: February 15, 2021 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Karl Holt
Writer: Karl Holt
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Starring: Karl Holt, Claire Cartwright, George Collie
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
After the death of his parents, Jack (Karl Holt) struggles to piece his life together. Even when the bank comes to repossess his house and after he gets demoted at work, Jack still can’t take responsibility for himself. It’s not until he impulsively does a cleanse of his childhood comfort toys that he awakens something in the soul of his favorite stuffed animal, Benny. Benny doesn’t take too kindly to Jack throwing him away and makes it his mission to show his undying love for Jack even if it means killing to do it. If Jack wants to save his future, beat his obnoxious co-worker Richard (George Collie), and win the affections of friend and office mate Dawn (Claire Cartwright), he’ll have to stand up for himself and get rid of Benny for good.
A charming and infectious horror comedy, Benny Loves You slices up solid stuffed animal madness.
By the end of the first scene, the audience knows exactly what kind of film they are in for, which sets the tone for something sweet and special. Believability is a hard concept to reach for in a film about a murderous stuffed animal, but some of the things that go on in Jack’s life outside of the rampage feel like a stretch even in its universe. It enhances the comedy, however, and it never goes unaddressed, so it isn’t too much of an issue. The inner workings of the banking industry or HR processes at work don’t matter when a little puppet creature can vacuum your insides out of you. It’s silly and over-the-top but that is part of its charm.
That doesn’t mean that Benny Loves You is a brainless affair. There is something to be said about nurturing your inner child and taking them along for the ride that is adulthood. Jack makes the mistake of ripping himself apart to succeed, when the reality is he needed to embrace his youth while still moving forward. This rings true especially when Jack is working on his Scare Bears series. He is in sync with Benny and Benny is on his best behavior. Of course, things go off course, as they do in this genre, but this is an important sequence that sets the stage for the film. Jack’s character arc is supported through his acceptance of his parent’s deaths an commitment to maturation. That doesn’t mean he can still find joy in things that bring him happiness.
Benny Loves You thrives in its visual effects department. While the gore is lacking, the design and execution of the various puppetry is excellent. Benny’s personality, along with his toy friends and foes, always comes through and makes for a gratifying watch. The sounds Benny makes are both incredibly creepy and cute, which is a hard combination to nail.
Viciously funny and sharp in wit, Benny Loves You has some great fun at the expense of its wacky premise. Pitch perfect comedic timing leads to seriously side-splitting sequences. It’s striking balance of cheeky humor and surprisingly sentimental moments make it an accessible horror comedy for those put off by more extreme horror films. Those who appreciate a creative kill, however, will still find plenty to relish in Benny Loves You. Overall, it’s a blast of a film best enjoyed with a few friends, both human and off the stuffed animal variety.
Pint-sized pandemonium abounds in this wonderfully weird and goofy British horror comedy making it the perfect feel-good, crowd-pleasing horror comedy to lighten the mood. Infused with beautifully dry British humor, Benny Loves You understands the wackiness of its plot and plays to its strengths to keep viewers on board. Top notch design and great practical effects go a long way in making this delightful film one to remember. Of course, plenty of solid thrills abound as the action can be quite intense if you let yourself not take it too seriously. Cherish Benny Loves You; I promise it is one movie you will want to love forever.
Overall Score? 7/10