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  • Writer's pictureriawoodburn

RAW (2016) review

Updated: May 18, 2020

Adolescence is a bitch and so it seems are your family when you are growing up. Raw (2016) follows teenage Justine (Garance Marillier), a strict vegetarian, as she moves out of home and into lodgings to study at veterinary college. Met by her older Alexia (Ella Rumpf) sister who is in the year above her, she develops a surprising taste for raw meat with dire consequences. Yes, it is a horror and yes, it is gory but it’s also a great family drama. The disdain sibling, with her less academic but cooler sister Alexia. Both are determined to outdo the other and eventually take more and more risks.

This family strained dynamic helps the viewer suspend their disbelief when faced with some pretty gruesome and graphic scenes. Raw is not for the faint-hearted, flooded with blood, I spent a huge chunk of the film hiding from the gore. Placing the girls in a veterinary college helped, as from the start you have a good indication that animal carcasses and bodily remains would be on offer.

The mystery surrounding Justine’s unusual appetite is partially concluded by the end, but the film has been so gripping that the explanation becomes irrelevant. Exceptionally clever and beautifully executed, Raw merges a perpetual family drama with horror. Along with Justine’s well-defined character arc, the result is a story that doesn’t use thrills at the detriment of the storyline.

(Photography: Petit Film)

Raw, 2016 (film), directed by Julia DUCOURNAU. Belgium: Petit Film


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