Raw ★★★★

A parable wrapped in raw flesh.

Looking at that poster and reading the film's synopsis, one might easily dismiss this as the next shocking entry into the French horror canon.

You'd be very wrong to do so.

Raw is an exploration of budding sexuality and extrapolates from the carnal desires that go hand in hand with discovering your sexuality a horrific fairytale.

Ducournau slowly unfolds her narrative in a familiar and sometimes predictable pattern and intersperses it with moments of excruciating desire, tenderness, desperation and graphic terror. There are moments where the pacing drops a bit too much, but the aforementioned mixture more than makes up for that.

The performances are excellent across the board, with a show stopping central performance by Garance Marillier. Ducournau manages to get this bizarre absurdist realism in the performances that add to the overall atmosphere beautifully.

Make no mistake, despite the fact that this is predominantly a character study, it is gnarly and nasty and at points hard to watch for those with a weak stomach. The practical effects are truly exceptional, making this messed up parable part of the real world somehow.

DirkH liked this review