Writer: Julia Ducournau (Screenplay)
Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurence Lucas, Joana Preiss, Bouli Lanners
Plot: When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fails the Shock Treatment
Story: Raw starts as we follow Justine (Marillier) a young woman who heads off to university to study to become a vet where her sister Alexia (Rumpf) studies too. Justine befriends her roommate Adrien (Oufella) and now the hazing ritual starts for the ‘Rookies’ but Justine a vegetarian must go against hers and her family’s belief and eat meat or be forced to be disgraced by the ‘Elders’ students.
After eating a rabbit kidney Justine starts to be ill and she isn’t designed to be able to cope with hazing situations of a dress code, room getting raided but most worrying for her, is that she starts to gain a blood lust.
Thoughts on Raw
Characters/Performance – Justine is a quiet young woman, she keeps to herself and finds herself in a world where she has been raised a vegetarian but to fit in she must go against everything she has known to become blood thirsty monster around compass. Alexia is elder sister of Justine, she understands the transformation she is going through but is distant in her guiding her through it. Adrien is the roommate that works with Justine in class too, he comes off as the complete opposite, open, friendly and not afraid of the world.
Performance wise, Garanace Marillier is good through this film as she goes through the transformation. I do feel the rest are good performance but as the film focuses more on Justine we don’t see too much away from her character.
Story – The first thing I want to bring up when looking at the story is wondering just how messed up this school really is, these forced rituals on everyone shouldn’t happen, it should only be optional. As for the core of the story which is Justine slowly transforms from quiet vegetarian into a blood thirsty meat eater, hunting the pray, becoming something she never imagined. This is interesting to watch but does take a while to get to the shock parts that have created the reputation around this film.
Horror – This is a horror film that relies on Shock Value, it goes to push even the strongest of fans of horror to the limits and will have anybody who is turned away by gore needing to look away.
Settings – Most of the film is set in and around the school which does work for the hazing rituals going on through the film.
Final Thoughts – This does feel like a film designed solely for shock value, it lives of the reputation is has had created and just doesn’t live up to the pure disturbing nature you would be made to believe it has.
Overall: Designed for Shocks, doesn’t deliver on all those promises.