Battlecreek (2017) – New Drama Available on Amazon Prime


By Melissa Antoinette Garza


Damn, it’s been awhile since I’ve written any reviews.   Life has gotten in the way of many hobbies, but now that I have done a few home renovations, readied myself to gardening and started a new candle-making operation, I’m feeling a bit artistic again, so thus – movie reviews are back on.

I woke up before Steve this morning.  I’m actually sleeping which is a great thing! I saw a few good movies recently, I, TONYA; JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, and BLACK PANTHER all pop in my head as really decent new releases.  I’ve seen some trash as well.  A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS and MOTHER have to be two of the worst flicks I’ve seen in some time.

Oddly I hadn’t heard of BATTLECREEK.  I saw the trailer and since it stars the new Pennywise, otherwise known as Bill Skarsgard, and that was enough to sell me.  He has a creepy cute vibe and a certain manner of expressing emotions that draws viewers in, and I’m no exception to his uncommon charm.

The movie opens with Henry (Skarsgard), a sheltered night owl in his 20s who suffered a horrific burn in his childhood and subsequently left him permanently disfigured. For the ladies, the director and make-up crew were kind enough to leave his face alone, but the extensive damage destroyed parts of his neck and back.

Henry doesn’t have it easy.  He rarely goes out in the day because he has to stay completely covered when he does.  He still lives at home with his overbearing, white-trash, trampy mom Tallulah (Paula Malcomson).  Tallulah, a self-proclaimed dreamer (psychic), sleeps around with guys who unbeknownst to her both verbally and physically torture Henry because of his disability, and is all around a horrible person.

That said Henry does have a job.  He works the nightshift at a gas station owned by his good friend Arthur (Delroy Lindo).  Arthur was also friends with Henry’s father before he took off.  It’s clear that he plays a big role in Henry’s life and is essentially a surrogate father.

It is at the gas station where he meets Alison (Claire van der Boom).  Alison was simply driving thru town escaping some sort of hell she didn’t want to discuss.  Her car broke down and though unwilling to take his help in the beginning, she slowly develops a friendship with Henry.

Romance blooms, but Tallulah isn’t having any of it.  She wants to keep Henry close to her and have him there to take care of her alcoholic tendencies.  It’s clear that in her 40-something years on earth, she had only learned to become more selfish and bitter.  She wants to end the relationship and thwart anything, even Henry’s own happiness, if it gets in her miserable ways.

That said, for all the awfulness and selfishness that exists within Tallulah, the town gossip and diner co-owner Melinda (Dana Powell) is thrilled for the duo.  She wants everyone to be happy and is elated to see the two hanging out.

Soon, the past and the present come crashing down and threatens the future both Alison and Henry dream about making for themselves.

Overall, this was one of the greatest movies I’ve seen.  It’s sweet and genuine and kind in a way that many movies today lack.  It doesn’t preach, but rather inspires.

The acting all around is phenomenal.  I’m a fan of Dana Powell on MODERN FAMILY so it was a great surprise to see her in such a significant role.

Paula Malcomson does a great job at portraying the selfish horrible mom that one has grown accustomed to see on DR. PHIL and STEVE WILKOS or unfortunately out-and-about in the real world.  When watching Malcomson’s performance so many of my family members and acquaintances ran through my mind.  The level of undeserved guilt she lays at the feet of Henry and the amount of unquestioned loyalty she demands is enough to make anyone hate her; and I did.  Even as Tululah was crying and begging, I hated that wench.  Kudos, to Malcomson for making her so loathsome.

The always amazing Delroy Lindo, brought his A game.  The wisdom Arthur bestows upon Henry and the emotion he feels toward him creates the second strongest connection in the movie, only after Henry and Alison.

I don’t recall seeing Claire van der Boom in anything prior to this, but I won’t forget the performance she gave soon after.   Despite Alison’s deception by omission, she never loses the sympathy of the audience.  One can’t help but root for her and Henry from beginning to end.

Lastly, Skarsgard is one of the finest and most versatile actors.  Despite having a unique look, voice and mannerisms all his own, he is able to alter them enough for each role to be significantly different from one another and protect each character’s autonomy.

This is one of those movies I think everyone should watch, at least every woman.  It’s heartfelt, engaging and leaves the audience feeling good afterwards.


Scared Stiff Rating: 9/10