Raw
My initial interest in Raw began when I heard that audience members received emergency medical services after fainting from the film's graphic scenes at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Thinking this would be as gory or as psychotic as Takashi Miike's infamous Ichi The Killer - which had an equal, if not, harsher effect on viewers - I put to immediate thought that I would see this whenever I got the chance. A small state side screening slipped by me, but nevertheless I was more than ecstatic when I saw the film for sale at my local video store. I bought it and brought it home with me and gave it a whirl on my big screen. 

What I received in viewing director Julia Ducournau's debut was not a chaotic gore fest or nothing close to the sort. Instead I took in a fantastically set college horror drama whose terror slowly takes form within the characters. 

The film stars Garance Marillier as lifelong vegetarian Justine, a college freshman dubbed a "rookie" by the upperclassmen. The film follows her through her first week at Veterinarian School, whereupon it's hazing week. This is immediately met by the upperclassmen herding the newbies into an underground party where sex, drugs, nudity, and all out chaos is on full display. This is also a moment where both the camera work and Ducournau's artistry is presented as a tour de force. The camera follows around the party in every which way; I felt just as confused and infatuated as Justine as all the fun, disturbed, and haphazardly drunk college students flashed before my eyes.

Throughout the film we also meet two other major characters: Alexia, Justine's older, wild, and untamed sister as well as Adrien, Justine's charismatic and attractive room mate. Each character contrasts one another and shows off a different part of the college experience; Justine the shy and quiet, Alexia the wild and vetted, and Adrien the confident and easy going. 

Justine's problems begin when she eats a raw rabbit kidney as part of her hazing. An obvious bad choice for the vegetarian, she soon begins to have an insatiable hunger. This leads her to biting and eating raw meat from her fridge, chomping off another student's lip (although he did deserve it), and having a sexual climax whilst biting her own arm, drawing blood. 


Her ultimate, grotesque act comes when Alexia accidentally loses a finger attempting to cut off a bandage during Justine's Brazilian Wax gone wrong. Justine flips out, Alexia cuts her finger off with scissors, and Justine picks up the finger. She nibbles on it like corn on the cob, and her sister wakes up in shock.

However weird Justine may be, Alexia proves to be in the same playing field as Justine. She takes Justine to a deserted road and jumps in front of a car, causing it to crash. Alexia then feasts on the passenger's head, and Justine is absolutely sickened. A bit of a twisted moral conundrum from one cannibal to the next I suppose, but it is showing a familial connection as well.

The two really butt heads after an intoxicated Justine is filmed by students at the school wanting to eat a dead body's arm in the morgue being held by Alexia. The two sisters clash on campus, with more students filming as the siblings bite each other. In a sympathetic, apologetic scene, we get a glimpse of the two sisters caring for each other as Alexia bandages up Justine. 

The following morning hazing week has ended, but the chaos has not. Justine wakes up next to Adrien who has been both murdered, and has had half his right leg eaten. At first thinking she was responsible, she finds Alexia slumped in the room with her mouth all bloody. Justine helps clean up her sister, and in the following scene she is locked up in a disclosed facility. 

The final scene of the film is perhaps the most shocking, with her father providing a dark monologue about his relationship with his wife and Justine's mother. That is a bit that I shall not spoil, but also one that makes the entire movie even more eccentric and disturbing. 

While Raw may not be as disturbed as other viewers have allegedly claimed, this does not stop it from being a fascinating and menacing film on its own. Justine's transformation from a newbie at college to a flesh-craving animal was more fun to watch than I ever thought it would be. The revelation of her sister having the same appetite was surprising and twisty, making the film ever more addictive. It served up a premise that kept making me ask, "How can this get worse?" And each time I asked that question, I got my answer in one way or the other until the screen cut to black. 


4
Brutal Resonance

Raw

7.5
"Good"
Genre: Horror, Drama
Director: Julia Ducournau
Writer: Julia Ducournau
Star actors: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
My initial interest in Raw began when I heard that audience members received emergency medical services after fainting from the film's graphic scenes at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Thinking this would be as gory or as psychotic as Takashi Miike's infamous Ichi The Killer - which had an equal, if not, harsher effect on viewers - I put to immediate thought that I would see this whenever I got the chance. A small state side screening slipped by me, but nevertheless I was more than ecstatic when I saw the film for sale at my local video store. I bought it and brought it home with me and gave it a whirl on my big screen. 

What I received in viewing director Julia Ducournau's debut was not a chaotic gore fest or nothing close to the sort. Instead I took in a fantastically set college horror drama whose terror slowly takes form within the characters. 

The film stars Garance Marillier as lifelong vegetarian Justine, a college freshman dubbed a "rookie" by the upperclassmen. The film follows her through her first week at Veterinarian School, whereupon it's hazing week. This is immediately met by the upperclassmen herding the newbies into an underground party where sex, drugs, nudity, and all out chaos is on full display. This is also a moment where both the camera work and Ducournau's artistry is presented as a tour de force. The camera follows around the party in every which way; I felt just as confused and infatuated as Justine as all the fun, disturbed, and haphazardly drunk college students flashed before my eyes.

Throughout the film we also meet two other major characters: Alexia, Justine's older, wild, and untamed sister as well as Adrien, Justine's charismatic and attractive room mate. Each character contrasts one another and shows off a different part of the college experience; Justine the shy and quiet, Alexia the wild and vetted, and Adrien the confident and easy going. 

Justine's problems begin when she eats a raw rabbit kidney as part of her hazing. An obvious bad choice for the vegetarian, she soon begins to have an insatiable hunger. This leads her to biting and eating raw meat from her fridge, chomping off another student's lip (although he did deserve it), and having a sexual climax whilst biting her own arm, drawing blood. 


Her ultimate, grotesque act comes when Alexia accidentally loses a finger attempting to cut off a bandage during Justine's Brazilian Wax gone wrong. Justine flips out, Alexia cuts her finger off with scissors, and Justine picks up the finger. She nibbles on it like corn on the cob, and her sister wakes up in shock.

However weird Justine may be, Alexia proves to be in the same playing field as Justine. She takes Justine to a deserted road and jumps in front of a car, causing it to crash. Alexia then feasts on the passenger's head, and Justine is absolutely sickened. A bit of a twisted moral conundrum from one cannibal to the next I suppose, but it is showing a familial connection as well.

The two really butt heads after an intoxicated Justine is filmed by students at the school wanting to eat a dead body's arm in the morgue being held by Alexia. The two sisters clash on campus, with more students filming as the siblings bite each other. In a sympathetic, apologetic scene, we get a glimpse of the two sisters caring for each other as Alexia bandages up Justine. 

The following morning hazing week has ended, but the chaos has not. Justine wakes up next to Adrien who has been both murdered, and has had half his right leg eaten. At first thinking she was responsible, she finds Alexia slumped in the room with her mouth all bloody. Justine helps clean up her sister, and in the following scene she is locked up in a disclosed facility. 

The final scene of the film is perhaps the most shocking, with her father providing a dark monologue about his relationship with his wife and Justine's mother. That is a bit that I shall not spoil, but also one that makes the entire movie even more eccentric and disturbing. 

While Raw may not be as disturbed as other viewers have allegedly claimed, this does not stop it from being a fascinating and menacing film on its own. Justine's transformation from a newbie at college to a flesh-craving animal was more fun to watch than I ever thought it would be. The revelation of her sister having the same appetite was surprising and twisty, making the film ever more addictive. It served up a premise that kept making me ask, "How can this get worse?" And each time I asked that question, I got my answer in one way or the other until the screen cut to black. 


Sep 27 2017

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
17
Shares

Top movies & TV

Requiem

Movies & TV, Apr 19 2018

A Quiet Place

Movies & TV, Apr 10 2018

Blade Runner 2049

Movies & TV, Oct 10 2017

It

Movies & TV, Sep 09 2017

Stranger Things: Season 1

Movies & TV, Sep 14 2016

Popular in movies & TV

The Jester

Movie, Jan 26 2017

Harvest Lake

Movie, Jan 26 2016

A Clockwork Orange

Movie, May 11 2015

Blade Runner 2049

Movie, Oct 10 2017

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016