Apparently, Raw is so gruesome that it’s made people pass out. Then again, I know lots of folks who saw it at Fantastic Fest last year and no one fainted, so maybe that’s just an overblown thing? Either way, the film has been getting good reviews and I’m anxious to check it out.
Raw is a rather unsettling film. Partly because it has plenty of moments that will make you scrunch up your face in disgust, but mostly because it’s a well made horror film that has a lot more to offer than just gore. It begins with a 16-year old whiz kid named Justine (Garance Marillier) being dropped off at veterinarian school by her parents. She hopes that her sister (Ella Rumpf), who attends the same school, will be there to receive her, but she’s nowhere to be found and the vegetarian virgin has to get settled on her own. Before she can though, a week-long hazing ritual begins, and Justine is introduced to a mix of things (boys, meat, booze, etc.) that she is no way ready to handle.
As much as Raw leans on its cannibalism hook to keep your attention and gross you out, it’s the film’s less bloody elements that really make it into something memorable. The vet school campus is creepy and rundown-looking, the various party scenes feel sweaty and overwhelming and anything with an animal is wholly uncomfortable. Also, Raw is a coming of age film, so for every moment that Justine finds herself hungry for flesh, there’s one where she’s exploring her sexuality or the like. It’s all very well done (ha), and I can’t wait to see what writer/director Julia Ducournau does next.
You should see Raw, but be warned that it’s definitely gory. Smart and interesting, yes, but also definitely gory.
One Last Thought:
I know a girl here in Austin who looks so much like Garance Marillier that my brain kept trying to tell me it was on her on the screen. This made a weird movie even weirder.