Raw (2016)

Raw (2016)

(2016)

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Animalistic horror from French filmmaker Julia Ducournau, following a teen vegetarian who develops a carnivorous nature at veterinary school.... More

Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a brilliant and promising student. When she starts at veterinary school, she enters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world. During the first week of hazing rituals, desperate to fit in whatever the cost, she strays from her family’s principles when she eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences of her actions as her true self begins to emerge.Hide

Flicks Review

Slathered in queasy, confrontational imagery and coal-black humour, Julia Ducournau’s accomplished debut feature Raw would make a thematically snug trilogy of sorts with Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day and Marina de Van’s In My Skin, both elegant, taboo-obliterating studies of feminine bestial urges that society at large would preferably not acknowledge, let alone explore in such horrific detail.... More

It’s viscous, and vicious, a twisted, oddly poignant collision of midnight-movie yucks and coming-of-age turmoil. Just as the lycanthrophy of Ginger Snaps served as a metaphor for menstruation, Raw uses cannibalism to trigger the evolution of its protagonist Justine (Garance Marillier), a mousey first-year student at a veterinary college where savage hazing rituals are allowed to run rampant without any visible repercussion.

Strictly not for the faint of heart, this sharply photographed art-horror genuinely delivers on the barf-making front. Whether it’s the uncomfortably relatable sight of Justine vigorously scratching an allergic rash, the graphic glimpses into veterinary procedures, or the now-notorious, brilliantly sick bikini-wax-gone-awry centrepiece, there’s enough here to nauseate stomachs of all temperaments. But Ducournau resists turning Raw into a senseless gore-fest, consciously portraying Justine’s primal transgressions as by-products of social and environmental pressures, including her own sexual awakening and a deeply turbulent sisterhood.

Marillier is fearless in the lead, committed to every liberating, terrifying, carnal moment of Justine’s newfound appetite while locating an affecting bond, however frayed and bonkers things get, with her on-screen sibling Alexia (Ella Rumpf). More than living up to its title, Raw pulses with a feverish, untamed vitality that qualifies it a placement in the upper echelons of modern human-feasting cinema.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • Ducournau, making a stellar feature writing-directing debut, fosters the kind of disquieting intimacy with her characters that leaves us continually uncertain of whether we should fear them or fear for them. Full Review

  • A French-Belgian horror film that combines flesh eating with the horrors of college hazing to spin a loopy parable of abstinence and indulgence, bingeing and purging. Full Review

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