Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
The opening minute of this movie is one of the best openings I've seen, ever. It's exactly the kind of horror I like -- subtle, yet undeniably haunting and tense. The cinematography and the pacing of the editing are wonderful, and when the title comes up, it's these big, all-caps blood-red letters that fill the entire screen: RAW.
The film immediately went down hill after this.
I'm a somewhat squeamish person, depending on the context. There were certainly moments in here that made me uncomfy, but very rarely was I actually scared. To be honest, I'm wary of even calling this a horror film. Most of it felt like a drama, and not a very compelling one to me. The script needed a lot more focus, I feel, in that this movie often goes in some weird directions that only detract from the main story. I love complicated familial relationships, but the love-hate dynamic between the two sisters in this movie just confused me. I'd rather re-watch Fat Girl, which despite not being a horror film, was infinitely more terrifying than anything in this film.
I really hope that I just flat out misinterpreted the themes here, because what I got, I kind of hated. An early conversation equating the abuse of animals to the rape of human women was my first sign that I really wasn't gonna like this movie. Rape is brought up repeatedly throughout the film, or is at least alluded to through questions like Did they force you?, Why didn't you fight back? and more. But what are we meant to do with that? It just didn't feel adequately developed to me, and a lot of what was expanded on felt problematic at best. Additionally, the "exploration" of the main character's sexuality and her relationship with her "gay" roommate made me more uncomfortable than any of the imagery.
The final scene of this film redeemed it a bit, and definitely felt more in-line with what I've come to look for in the horror genre. I think this movie is probably the best it could be with its script. It's well directed and the cinematography/lighting is certainly captivating. Thematically and narratively? I'm just not a fan.