Review: Raw (2016)

My plot review: Recommended

Star rating: Star rating of 5

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Leaving nothing to the imagination, Raw combines a beautifully shot horror with a healthy dose of cannibalism and lashings of comedy.

Possibly not the perfect movie for viewers of a squeamish disposition, this French-Belgian body horror had a room full of adults squirming in their seats, averting eyes and looking at their friend who talked them into it like, "what the fuck?".

It seems I have a habit of watching amazing films directed by successful first-timers (see: Mustang). Raw is a masterful entrance from Julia Ducournau that turns horror into art, in ways that you've never before seen.

Never slow in pace, always on it's toes, Raw follows a timid young veterinary student as she joins the same college as her sister, and gets caught up in a bunch of disgusting hazing rituals. I don't think I would have lasted 2 minutes as a vegetarian at University with the older kids making me eat raw kidney and throwing blood on me (always a Carrie reference, no matter what).

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Garance Marillier plays her lead role, Justine, with delicate force – simultaneously encapsulating a fragile victim and a powerful villain. She stumbles through the start of her first week in a bleak Belgian dorm unsure of herself. But by the end she is facing her fears, drinking pints of vodka, losing her virginity and developing an unhealthy addiction to human flesh.

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As any horror should, this movie includes a coming of age theme, family tension, sibling rivalry, love and sexuality. The refreshing part is, none of them are presented in a way that you are familiar with from this genre.

Hints of humour provide some respite, again proving unique to get real laughs from a horror. But for the most part you will be thinking "I can't watch... but I can't not watch".

Thoroughly recommend you give this a try. Even if you're not usually a horror fan, this movie reinvents the wheel in many ways. Don't watch it alone, though, and see it in a cinema if you can. The human experiment element of watching other people, watching people eat people, is not to be missed ;)

Snacks not really recommended. I mean try it, but if you accidentally stuff some chewy sweets in your mouth just as Marillier chomps down on a finger, don't say I didn't warn you.

The human experiment element of watching other people, watching people eat people, is not to be missed ;)