Written and directed by Julia Ducournau
Out March 10
Vegetarianism and veterinary school are family traditions for Justine (Garance Marillier), a young woman who’s looking forward to joining her older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) at the same school their parents attended. Unfortunately, her prickly sibling isn’t interested in showing her the ropes, and instead urges Justine to participate in the school’s bloody freshman hazing ritual as a means of fitting in. After a particularly stomach-turning test, however, Justine’s body begins developing strange cravings that require sating in all sorts of unfamiliar new ways.
Raw is horrifying and gorgeous, with fantastic performances by Marillier, Rumpf, and Rabah Nait Oufella as Justine’s roommate. The increasingly vivid scenes, from throbbing dance parties to Justine acting out on her carnivorous cravings, are jarring against the anonymous, concrete buildings of the school. And while tons of horror movies rely on med schools, mortuaries, and the like to explore the dark side of everyday life, setting Raw in a vet school is a neat trick that juxtaposes the excesses of college life with the shock of seeing innocent animals in compromised positions. The special effects team includes Olivier Afonso, who worked on the blood-soaked French flick Inside, so viewer beware. But if you’re looking for stomach-turning horror with complex female characters, Raw has got you covered. (5/5)
By Jenni Miller
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