Raw ★★½


Expected to love this, honestly, and was a little let down when I didn't. Pinpointing an exact reason why is proving to be very difficult; a lot of it felt very "shocking" for the sake of "being shocking" rather than serving any purpose (thematically or otherwise), and I know that's pretty much the most vague criticism I can allocate, here, but I don't know what else to say other than: it all felt kind of... fruitless? It's not that I even mind the brutality—in fact, I'm usually welcoming of unconventional tactics—but it has to have a function greater than simply existing to "gross you out." Something so eclectic should really get to me, either emotionally, viscerally, technically, etc., but even during RAW's most outlandish sequences—clearly denoted by a thunderous techno track—I remained mostly indifferent, thinking to myself, "this is neat, I guess, but… I feel nothing." I do appreciate the fresh take on the old coming-of-age problems that have been way too saturated with the same, rehashed ideas for years and years, but I can't help feeling like the execution falls short of the premise, which holds so much more potential to be truly carving. It's fun to look at, and it certainly won't bore you, but it somehow manages to be staunchly unmoving, even in spite of such outward grotesquerie.

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