I think that we can all agree that not every movie is made for everybody. With that in mind, it’s obvious that something like Raw (Grave in France) will not work for a number of people. A part of that is because it uses subtitles due to it being a foreign film. Another reason is it features a bunch of actors that no one in America has ever heard of before. Oh, and the fact that it’s a movie about cannibalism might also be a reason why people might have a difficult digesting all that it’s serving up to potential viewers.
This French horror flick centers around Justine (Garance Marillier), a highly intelligent sixteen year-old with her sights set on becoming a veterinarian. Since she comes from a family of vets, the profession is something she’s extremely familiar with. What makes it even easier on the surface is that she’s gifted and is heading to the school her sister (Ella Rumpf) is currently attending. Unfortunately for her, life doesn’t only take place on the surface. As she looks to fit in, the desperate teen finds herself introduced to a world that unleashes her true self and a life that she never knew existed.
Just based solely on what it is at the start, Raw could have stayed on that straight path that it was following and still have potentially been a good drama. Much of what’s seen here is likely going to remind people of films focusing on going away to college, joining a fraternity/sorority and growing up as a result everything that might come with it. The way its done and the characters that are being introduced truly gives it that tone and gives the audience the ability to connect with what’s happening and adds to the overall value.
Once they begin to include the elements of cannibalism, Raw predictably and expectedly takes a darker and more sinister turn. At times, this feels a little awkward, because we’re unable to understand why or how exactly all of what is being presented to us is working as far as the dynamics are concerned. However, this all changes as the components most important to the film start to unfold and eventually take shape over the course of the entire picture.
In a sense, this is another attribute that proves that Raw is refreshingly untraditional. There are also numerous features and things to consider that are constantly unveiled throughout. Not only that, but it doesn’t really ever stop until we get to the where we need to be in terms of necessary information. The way it all makes sense in the end makes what felt incomplete through a good portion of it feel like the exact opposite once we reach the intended destination.
With all that it entails on the visually vulgar side of things, Raw manages to somehow not be as bloody and as gory as I thought it would be. That’s not to say that this isn’t brutal at times, because it is. It’s just that you may find yourself mentally preparing for the kind of grotesque features that the average person doesn’t normally see in life, film, or anywhere else for that matter.
Instead of that, the uneasiness showcased here will likely make you squirm more than it will make you vomit. Even with that being the case, you’re going to have to watch Raw at your own risk. If you’re the kind of person who isn’t usually shaken by something like this, it’s worth the watch for the experience alone. Plus, due to it simply being a movie of high quality, you have even more of a reason to check it out.
Director: Julia Ducournau
Rabah Naït Oufella
Film Length: 98 Minutes
Release Date: March 17, 2017 (U.S.)
Distributor: Focus World
- Score - 7.5/107.5/10