“Raw” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

29 May, 2017

Director: Julia Ducournau
Screenwriter: Julia Ducournau
Director of Photography: Ruben Impens
Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella

Synopsis: A trainee veterinary surgeon with a strong aversion to meat finds her life in a tizzy after a hazing ritual at her new college compels her to eat human flesh, awaking an innate desire which she cannot ignore.

Raw Review:

A tartare thriller with a red-raw attitude, “Raw” is a bold and beautiful entry in this year’s left hook line-up, arriving unexpectedly with its unusual tale of congenital cannibalism. A film where bloodlust comes from within, “Raw” twists its story around helpless strands of DNA, gushing through the bloodstream of an unsuspecting protagonist as she searches for the perfect meal to satiate her rumbling stomach. Despite sounding like a French alternative to a Hammer Horror plot, the movie retains the framework of an observant drama, hazing and trailblazing its way to greatness as disgust, amazement, and vulnerability come to reflect the effects of a crippling condition.

Waiting to strike at any moment, “Raw” feasts on tender flesh without blame, seeing no evil behind abhorrent cravings as a severed finger is chowed down like fresh chicken, leaving us to reassess the boundaries between the acceptable and the unacceptable in relation to a presupposed food chain. Transforming a virgin vegetarian into a bloodthirsty cannibal, the movie takes puberty into its own hands as Julia Ducournau enslaves a young woman within her own body, re-dressing and reassessing her through make-up, mirrors, and music while allowing her to gain a foul reputation in the process.

Inspired by the New French Extremity but transgressively tame within a larger context, “Raw” shares its enthusiasm with the greats, trading innocence for rabidity as Ducournau reimagines her favourite moments from both “Carrie” and “The Shining”. Using cannibalism as an allegory for sex, drugs, and debauchery, the movie fuses temptation with destruction as a dark comedy with a ravenous edge comes to encapsulate the meshing of high art and low art, crossing boundaries with an experimental horror that revolutionises the female anatomy through a black widow narrative.


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