Raw is a French-Belgian movie that is written and directed by Julia Ducornau, who has also directed other award-winning short films. It features Garance Marillier, a French actress who is relatively unknown outside France. With the theme of the film being somewhat gory and has a rating of 18+, will this film be a hit? Or will it be just yet another gory B-movie? Read on to find out!
(*Note: Gay scenes, sex scenes and cannibalistic scenes are present and this movie will mindfck you if you are not prepared for it)
The basic premise is regarding Justine, a vegetarian, who arrives in a vet school for her college. She is allergic to any meat products and has never eaten them, until one day a College Freshies ritual that involves eating rabbit kidney is forced onto her. Upon consumption of her first meat, she begins to undergo a transformation with the addition of any meats. This will lead to her doing unexpected things and her relationships with her sister, roommate and schoolmates begin to worsen. However, as she discovers more about herself and other secrets, can she keep her mind sane enough before her transformation and addiction of flesh consumes her?
Wow, this film can be considered to be a blend of artistic, gore and sexual films. It contains many themes and showcases them surprisingly well in its story world. First of all, let’s start with the narrative, which is not the most original. A story of a girl consuming human flesh has been a common theme across several American B-movies. Raw does not set itself to define the genre or the theme, instead, it plans to add its own flavour to it. Basically, the movie puts in all the sexual and gory themes as one, and with its European setting, transform them into something very different from the American version, giving a sort of refreshing take on the genre. The pacing can be a bit slow in the middle portion, but overall it’s handled well, and the beginning moves pretty fast but it is done appropriately. It strives to present the gory scenes to the minimum while preferring to show us the psychological sides of the characters.
Characters themselves are actually pretty simple at their core. The movie presents a varied amount of characters with their own quirks. There is the common Gay man who becomes Justine’s roommate and her sister who is the rebellious type. What makes them different is that their characters go beyond the stereotype. In one scene, we see the Gay man flirting and having sex with the protagonist, and that she also has romantic feeling for him. Meanwhile, her sister can be a douchebag that actually cares and shares many traits with her sister, especially in certain parts. The relationships between them prove to be an interesting drive to the narrative. There are also many scenes that symbolise certain feelings, like feeling trapped or undergoing unwanted transformations etc, and also the fact that Justine is training to be a vet, but she can’t treat her own animalistic behaviour throughout the film. Music soundtracks are perfect, with many of them invoking the feeling of mystery and also horror, together with some psychological eerieness that makes this film a great mix of horror, gore, and some sexual fantasies. Some of the songs played (in French) has great lyrics and beats that fit the story well.