To tell you the truth, this is the first movie in about four years that actually made me feel sick.
Starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas and Joana Preiss, ‘Raw’ is a French-Belgian horror/coming-of-age and is perhaps known as the most controversial movie of 2017.
It follows Justine (Garance Marillier), a young vegetarian who is starting her first year at a prestigious Veterinarian school. When she arrives, she must undergo an intense hazing ritual that involves eating raw meat. But after she tastes meat for the first time, her true self-comes out and she begins to crave flesh.
I’m pretty sure that this is my first review for a disturbing/controversial movie so it may be slightly different to my other reviews. But that doesn’t mean that ‘Raw’ is a bad movie, as this is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen all year.
First of all, this is one of the most unique movies of the year and it is a movie that really affected me during and after the final shot (which happens to be one of the biggest jaw-dropping final shots of all time). This also allows me to tell you that this movie is NOT for the squeamish. There are certain scenes in ‘Raw’ that made me feel really uncomfortable and grossed out sometimes. Although there are only a couple of these scenes and they happen far apart from each other, when they hit, they really hit and they can shock you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Moving onto other positives, this is a beautifully shot movie. It’s also a very atmospheric movie and you can sense this during a party scene quite early on which makes you feel like you are in the claustrophobic spaces that the characters are in. It’s a beautiful tracking shot and it was one of my favourite movie scenes of the year.
The performances are also top notch. Garance Marillier is phenomenal as Justine. She comes across as a very relatable character and her journey of self-discovery is the main focus of ‘Raw’, which is beautiful and disturbing to watch unfold. Her amazing performance here makes me keen to see her in future works and I wouldn’t be surprised if she succeeded in the movie industry.
Ella Rumpf is also amazing as Justine’s older sister, Alexia. I won’t say much about her character as she has a very important role in ‘Raw’ and there are some amazing moments that revolve around her character that stick with you long after watching it. But what I can say is that her performance is very strong and it was one of my favourite supporting performances of the year.
The script is also brilliant. It has a surprisingly unpredictable plot and I loved it when it would go in a completely different direction to what I thought it would. It’s full of twists and turns and they didn’t feel like they were just chucked in there compared to other movies. They were satisfying when they happened and I just loved it.
I can’t think of any negatives that really affected the movie in a dramatic way. Basically, this is a faultless horror/coming-of-age movie that really took me by surprise.
Overall, ‘Raw’ is a powerful, beautiful and disturbing horror/coming-of-age foreign movie that managed to become one of my favourite horror movies of the decade. From the phenomenal performances, stunning direction and unique vision, ‘Raw’ is a horror movie like no other and one that will stick with you for a very long time.