Danny B’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really have no idea how to go about reviewing 'Raw' a French, twisted, disgusting, coming-of-age arthouse drama-horror. It's abstract, weird, unique and unlike anything I've ever seen.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this. The screenings in my area were very limited. I managed to see the only one listed, and I'm so glad I did. For the second year running, my favourite horror film of the year might just be about female cannibals.
Julia Ducournau's directorial debut is something of wonder. I went in completely blind and was just transfixed on everything happening in screen. The film runs on a slow, but hypnotic pace, much like The Neon Demon or Under the Skin. The cinematography is beautiful. Among the bleak outdoor shots, there lies scenes with such candy coloured horror, much like Suspiria.
This takes its cannibilism concept and just runs with out. It takes place in a very strange and odd world. The vetinary school the majority of the story takes place is obviously one of absurd exaggeration. The hazing the lead character goes through is disgusting, harsh and deeply unsettling. It's incredible that not a single teacher at this school hasn't shut it down.
The cannibalism itself is some of the most disgusting things I've ever witness in a theater. It takes a lot for a film to make me feel squemish, but Raw managed to hit a nerve with me due to its graphic nature. Jim Williams wonderfully unsettling score only added to the disturbing events unfolding onscreen, delivering a gorgeous and classic horror-synth score that had shades of It Follows and Maniac.
Garance Marillier gives an incredible lead performance as a shy, oppressed girl who eventually goes on a journey of self-discovery, family secrets and cannibilism. I'd never heard of this actress before, but my god, I cannot wait to see her in more stuff.
This isn't going to be for everyone, that's for sure. Things are very abstract and weird. The film moves from scene to scene without much explanation. I was left a little confused at times at why people do what they do, but for me, it all made sense by the end.
Raw is one of the most disgusting, visceral and hypnotic things I've ever seen. A beautiful, haunting and transfixing experience unlike any other. If I see a better horror film in 2017, I will be amazed.