“Raw” Movie Review: “Ooh, baby, I like it Raw. Yeah, baby, I like it Raw.”
Raw, also known as Grave, is a film that I first read about in an issue of Empire Magazine. I was really looking forward to it, because I actually have a little liking towards modern French horror films, such as the movie Martyrs. Also, I read how this film had people fainting in the theater, because of its shocking imagery, violence, and horror. This is exactly why I knew I had to see it! Those fainting rumors must have been exaggerated. However, this movie doesn’t need to be a parade of gore to be good. I had high hopes for this to deliver something good and it really does deliver the goods!
Julia Ducournau’s directs her debut feature about a young woman’s emerging taste for human flesh. When a young woman arrives at veterinary college, she desperately wants to fit in, and follow in the footsteps of a proud family tradition. This young woman is vegetarian, and she discovers a new appetite. One minute she’s a sweet, good girl, straight-A student. Then in the blink of an eye, she’s drooling at the sight of a freshly severed finger and lusting after the tempting torso of her roommate. Justine, played by Garance Marillier encounters a merciless world during her first week or so at veterinary school. Desperate to fit in, she strays from her principles and eats raw meat for the first time. The young woman soon experiences terrible and unexpected consequences as her true self begins to emerge.
So like the movies The Devil’s Candy or The Void, Raw was a film that horror fans really got excited for, and debuted at film festivals and blew everyone away. Now for a movie about a girl and embracing cannibalism, this movie could have gone the typical horror route, but it doesn’t. This is why I love foreign horror because the filmmakers take more risk and get more original with the story. If this were an American made film, it would be your typical jump scare, torture porn, blood shatter type of flick. On the other hand, we get a film that has great characters, a movie with a message, a bat shit crazy ending, and disturbing from the very opening scene. That is something I want to talk about next, the opening scene and look of this movie.
I had to look this up on IMDb, the cinematographer is Ruben Impens, and this movie has some nice and well thought out shots throughout. From the very beginning of the film, we have a spine chilling shot of a car crash. From there, the movie does capture the tension and feeling of Justine. The movie has shots that I take resemble the characters emotions. Shots that make us feel a little wobbly, uneven, and claustrophobic. My favorite shot in the entire movie is a dream sequence by Justine, where she is breaking out in the sweats, screaming, while under hiding under some bed sheets. I take that as the cinematographer showing us Justine’s rollercoaster of emotions, her thoughts, feeling imprisoned (the bed sheets), and the world of Justine.
At times, our main character Justine reminded me very much of the character Carrie. Much like the character from the movie and Stephen King novel, Justine doesn’t fit in with her peers; she seems to alienate herself, she is naive and deals with characters that seem to take advantage of her.
I read so many comments that said when this movie premiered people needed barf bags and were passing out. No, they were not. Trust me, as someone who has seen a ton of over the type violent films, this film is not that violent. Even though when Justine does eat meat for the first time (I believe it was rabbit kidney, yummm) she becomes like a monstrous carnivore, tearing at flesh, and it is a little disturbing. If you are someone who is squeamish, I think you will find some parts of this movie repugnant.
For a horror movie, this movie doesn’t give women the horror movie treatment. By this I mean, the women in this film are not objectified like in horror movies. There is a sex scene in this film, and we all know the horror rule if you have sex in a horror movie you die. But once again, this film doesn’t go the typical horror route. At this scene, the movie tries to show the audience that sex can become violent, and violence can become sexual for some people.
I fucking loved the ending! It made for a real sweet twist ending, it caught me off guard, and it is the ending you remember and talk about after it is over. Raw does have a compelling message for its audience. Our main character embracing cannibalism equals embracing who she is. At the end of the day, we human beings are animals, and we can’t help when our animal instincts come into play. If you’re some one who is vegetarian or vegan, after seeing this movie I can understand why, and I hope you understand why I am going to give Raw a…9 out of 10!
Raw is set to be released on DVD September 5, 2017; I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a copy and see this movie again.