Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Raw - Review

   Horror movies lately, particularly smaller films, have been knocking it out of the park. And while 2017 has delivered some hits already, none are better in quality than Raw. The French-Belgian film captures this unsettling and almost gross nature that is hard to make it through. But the horror aficionados out there are sure to find a film that satisfies their messed up wishes. 

   Stringent vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) encounters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world during her first week 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.

   The entire premise of the film takes some solid symbolism regarding the hazing issues of schools as a whole. Though Raw is obviously darker and creepier than real life, it operates in large part as a mysterious endeavor throughout the horrific events, asking the audience to follow along without explaining everything. The college setting only enhances the gross atmosphere of the film and thus it takes turns you absolutely would not expect.

   There are really two main characters in the film and the dynamic between these two sisters is what the film thrives on as the horror begins to hit. Garance Marillier is absolutely great in this film, conveying the lack of control she seems to have incredibly well. Ella Rumpf is also equally as great but brings this eerie feeling to the movie, making it hard to really place her character motivations.

   Despite the film being quite gruesome, it’s not outright, 100% gory and it’s an unsettling type of carnage rather than a shock value horror. With that being said, those that are faint of heart will absolutely be queasy, so keep that in mind if you choose to see this film, which if you enjoy horror like I do than you absolutely should. The horror that works, works due to the acting and the way the film is shot, highlighting the nature of the act rather than getting too fancy. And the ending and its implication only add to the entire film upon reflection.

   Overall Raw is just what you’d expect from a cannibal film without going too cheesy. The acting from the leads is phenomenal and highlights the scope and themes of the film, while the horror never goes too over the top. The film subverts some expectations and has twists that feel earned making Raw one of the more enjoyable, albeit unnerving, films of early 2017. 

   So what do you think about Raw? Are you interested in it or is just not for you? Subscribe, share, comment below and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.

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