Bring a sick bucket the tabloids yell about Julia Ducournau’s Raw, don’t they just love it, a movie featuring cannibalism set in a veterinary college and it’s in French too so no worries about Mail or Express readers ever going to watch this film.
Which would be a shame, because yes Raw has its gruesome gory moments, but its a whole different slice of dripping fresh liver to something like Cannibal Holocaust (1980). Raw tells the story of Justine (Garance Marillier) who follows the family tradition by joining her sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) at veterinary school. And what would a college movie be without some kind of hilarious student induction ritual involving blood and body parts?
Trouble is that Justine comes from a family of vegetarians and chowing down on a pickled rabbit kidney awakens a thirst for flesh that is just not satisfied by sneaking out for late night kebab or even scarfing raw chicken breasts straight from the fridge.
Oh no Justine’s body horror ramps up as she sloughs her skin and takes to eating and then puking up her own hair like a cat. College life isn’t all bad though she does get to bond with her big sister and her gay room-mate, what could possibly go wrong with that?
Sure Raw is gruesome and visceraly gungey, but for me the most horrific part was not the snacking on human flesh, but the cruelty of the hazing ritual imposed upon Justine and her fellow freshers by her older peers. Raw takes a swipe at the American teen college movie and viciously savages it at the neck while also being a bizarre buddy and family movie documenting how Alexia mentors Justine’s transition from virginal veggie teen to a much wider choice of adult appetites and the effect it has upon their parents. It’s also very funny, the drunken pube waxing scene contains one of the most gruesomely gross laugh out loud moments ever.
A seriously fucked up European take on Porkys/American Pie phenomena but far far funnier 666/666.
Raw is let loose in UK cinemas 7 April