The 2016 film Raw got some major headlines as it chewed its way through film festival screenings worldwide. From theaters providing “Barf Bags” to viewers needing ambulatory assistance during the film, there was a lot of hype behind Raw that hadn’t been seen in a proper Horror film since the days of Hitchcock.
Metroplague recently had the chance to view the film, and to be completely honest, we have a few thoughts. Raw is directed by Julia Ducournau, and stars Garance Marillier as the protagonist, Justine. Justine is a bright, young veterinary student at a university that has some very violating hazing practices. Coming from a vegetarian background, Justine is forced to partake in some meaty protein, and something hidden deep in her appetite is awakened.
Raw is at heart, a cannibal movie. We have seen a lot of these recently with The Green Inferno and We Are What We Are, so going into this viewing we weren’t too concerned about the content and had an idea of what to expect from this chiller.
The movie starts with a bang, then takes quite a bit of time to reach a climax that will be fulfilling to some and a letdown for those expecting something a little more brutal. Yes, Raw is very graphic. One member of the team actually did leave the room to go throw up. However, these urges won’t pop up for everyone, it really is a matter of what gets your goat.
One warning on the film is that while it does not lead to torture or inappropriate territory, Raw is a film that has a very sexuality driven background and uses the cannibalism as a metaphor for sexual shame and loss of innocence. If you as a viewer are uncomfortable watching a movie that consistently toys with the theme of lost consent in numerous forms, Metroplague recommends taking a pass on this movie.
However, if looking for a deeper horror film that is grounded in reality and makes you believe this frankly unbelievable tale, while at the same time teasing you to shut your eyes in certain scenes, Raw is the movie for you.
The one negative aspect of the film is really the pacing. By the time things get going and the plot actually thickens, there is really only about 20 minutes left in its 1 hour and 39-minute runtime.
Metroplague can recommend this movie for the modern Horror audience, but based on Raw’s content and overall uncomforting nature, it is a movie to either watch alone or with an audience that knows what they are getting into.
If Raw gets your tummy grumbling, you can rent/buy it on Amazon here.