Raw is a stunning French/Belgian film about sisterhood, feminism, sexuality, coming of age, the desperation of youth trying to fit in with their peers and of course, cannibalism.
This film has made controversial headlines across the world, after two people in the audience, at its Canadian premiere fainted, but don't let the hype put you off seeing this groundbreaking film for yourself, which I am certain is destined to become a hit cult classic.
If you think this film might not be for you, think again. While there is some use of stylised gore, this is not your run of the mill horror film and actually crosses over many genres, including drama and black comedy, just to name a few, which is highly unusual in the world of French cinema and is literally the best film I had the pleasure of viewing in 2016!
Brilliantly written and directed by Julia Ducournau (Neither Heaven Nor Earth & Mange), the film revolves around two sisters, Justine (Garance Marillier; Solo Rex & It's Not A Cowboy Movie) and Alexia (Ella Rumpf; Chrieg (War) & Summer Outside) who both attend the same exclusive veterinarian school that their parents attended in their youth, which, in many ways, reminded me a lot of the dance academy from Suspiria. The youngest of the two young women, Justine, is put through a rigorous hazing ritual, which all students must partake in, in order to be accepted by their peers.
Justine is a strict vegetarian and to her disgust, she soon finds out that said hazing, includes the new students being showered with animal blood, which is very reminiscent of the film Carrie. They must all consume a raw rabbit kidney each, which she eventually partakes in, after her sister shows her photos she found of their own parents partaking in, during their time at the school.
Once the hazing is all over, Justine is expecting to jump straight into her studies and put it all behind her, however, she soon finds that it had affected her much more than she ever could have imagined! Not only does she now have an insatiable appetite for raw meat, but she has found herself plunged into a deep dark world of female sexuality and sibling rivalry, which is entirely consuming her life and before she knows it, she is lost in an ever losing fight against her most primal desires to consume the live flesh of her fellow students.
The effects team have done a stunningly realistic job and the soundscape is second to none, with a perfectly suited soundtrack, which I hope will someday be released on CD and Vinyl.
Raw is an amazing and stylish feast for the eyes, which is a must see for all true lovers of film and I cannot even begin to describe how the trailer doesn't do justice to how incredible this film actually is.
Raw is rated R and is restricted to adults only, as it contains aberrant behaviour, bloody and grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, strong language and drug use/partying.