Raw ★★★★½

I've been looking forward to RAW for what seemed like forever. First hearing about it's effect on viewers who attended it's festival runs, and then reading early reviews soon after, I was absolutely stoked at the proposition of a horror film that would challenge not only my physical fortitude, but my mental fortitude as well. Ok, honestly, I was more in it for the copious amounts of juicy gore promised by the film's early trailers. I admit it; I mean, how could I not be.

But after having finally had the chance to view it start to finish, I was surprised to find that RAW held more in store for our viewing group than just impressive mutilations and realistic depictions of cannabilism.

Put simply, Julia Ducournau's is a powerfully tragic tale which disects the relationship between two sisters that on the surface, seem to come from completely different worlds. Its only when forced to endure the trials and tribulations of collegiate life that their unfortunate similarities become revealed, and the opportunity to connect is held only under the darkest of cicumstances.

I want to be crystal clear here. This film is less about cannibalism and more about predisposition and the relationships that have been twisted as a result of that. It's about the - often times futile - attempt at escaping fate; being haunted by family ghosts. Ultimately though, it's about finding the love that works best to overcome these challenges, whether the trend of a sin is buckled or not.

But perhaps, you came for the disturbing imagery and visceral violence, I get it, I'm a gore hound myself (and you'll be satisfied in this regard). But RAW really is much much more than it's gore, and in that, there is something special for those who aren't simply looking for a horror films which leverages violence for the purpose of shock value. Here is a promise of a profoundly touching horror film; you'll just need a strong stomach in order to chew through the layers.

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