My plot review: Recommended
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).
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.
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 ;)