Drama / Horror

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7 10 35849


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Travis Isle 9 / 10

Growing Pains.

Walk outs in film are a dime a dozen, Bad acting , Terrible script or maybe the vibe is all off, it's all part of the Hollywood game. When 20 people walked out of RAW in Paris last year at it's first screening it was for none of these reasons. The reason 20 people walked out and two fainted is because RAW is one of the most intense films to come out of the European state in quite awhile,

The crime of RAW is not that it is provocative it is that has the intelligence to smooth it over with focused direction and smart writing thanks to the helm at both ends, Julie Doucornow in her debut.

Justine,played by an excellent Garance Marillier is a strict vegetarian in first year in veterinarian school On the first night her dorm is raided by senior students and so begins the process of a week long hazing exercise, One afternoon she is forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney. The results are almost immediate as she discovers within herself a craving for meat and as with the title preferring the raw variety. With all these events happening at the same time she struggles to find her place in school. Juggling students, family, teachers with a crippling disease I found my self drawing similarities between this and Brian De Palma's CARRIE.

Justine, at a loss slowly succumbs to cannibalism but you won't see any zombies or Italian inspired cannibals here. The second act leads us to the reasons all those people walked out and missed the payoff and satisfying end. At heart a cannibal film but also and more importantly a story of young woman trying to find her feet and the most blistering of circumstances.

An original film from a first time director and something you can surely sink your teeth into.

Reviewed by ryanpersaud-59415 7 / 10

Surprisingly Tasteful...Pun Intended

I heard the hype. How this film was "so horrific" that people left midway through the film after being so repulsed, they were physically ill. I went in with the - negative - expectation that this was going to be a gore fest. SPOILER: it's not. What we have here is a particularly grisly, but effective coming of age story, a genre the French have a penchant for. For a film about cannibalism, it's surprisingly subtle and is generally a slow burn that builds tension well. I found the performances uniformly strong, especially from Garance Millier. Her transformation from shy and socially awkward to animalistic and unhinged is a joy to watch. The atmosphere is well developed, especially those incredibly effective party scenes that perfectly capture what it's like at a wild college party. And I have to say, for such a twisted film, it's surprisingly sexy. Again, thank the French.

No, it's not for the faint of heart and yes, some of the imagery is quite brutal. It could've have fleshed out - heh - some of the relationships between certain characters better, but overall, I'd recommend this to people with open minds and strong stomachs.

Reviewed by ctowyi 8 / 10

A potent cannibal awakening story

We have all seen the umpteen coming-of-age or sexual awakening story, but when is the last time you saw a becoming-a-cannibal story? This is one incredibly muscular piece of filmmaking, marrying visual poetry with slow-burn horror into one potent and delectable dish. Debut writer-director Julia Ducournau knows exactly what she wanted to do and did it, and the resultant film is a different breed of horror with no cheap jump scares and with the camera never flinching from all body and animal horror.

During a screening at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, some viewers received emergency medical services after allegedly fainting from the film's graphic scenes. IMHO, this notoriety does it a huge disservice. Perhaps the viewers went into the cinema with an empty stomach or have a weak disposition for copious blood and body horror because Raw is never tacky or cheesy in its depiction of its terror. Ducournau knows the medium well and employs a plethora of aesthetics to drive the terror home. The cinematography is fluid and complicit in the sinister going-ons; it somehow manages to glide seamlessly to places we don't want to go (under the bed covers, in a toilet where blue and yellow collide) and see stuff that we don't want to see (rashes on young flesh). I am never ever going to forget a scene in which a poor horse get tranquillised, a mouth restraint slapped on it, gets tied up and turned upside down in a harness. It was spine-chilling and my mind kept whispering prayers that it will be fine. The takes are long and languid, but purposeful and place us in the thick of things. It felt like I was given full access to an accident site and I was led to study in closed-up the twisted metal and the mangled bodies. I couldn't look away even though I wanted to. The shots are superbly lighted, disconcerting and symbolically rich. Ogle in amazement as the camera follows Justine in the first night of hazing to a make-shift discotheque that resembles hell itself.

IMHO the genius of this lean and mean film is that it manages to make us feel for Justine. We feel the revolting disgust churning inside her as she, a lifelong virginal vegetarian, is forced to swallow a raw offal from a rabbit. The angry crimnson rash that flares up all over her is a manifestation of her disgust, but soon it awakens her cannibalistic core. In Garance Marillier, Ducournau has found the perfect Justine. Her transformation arc is magnificent and her multi-layered performance is career-defining. I still cannot forget the scene of her jiving sexily in front of the mirror, becoming aware of herself sexually. She exudes an animalistic energy so thick and heavy, she fused the scenes together in absolute dread. Her eventual deflowering scene, coupled with the birth of her cannibalistic leanings, is presented in total nerve-wrecking literalness.

Raw isn't for everybody. I wouldn't even say a horror fan will like it. It has an art-house feel to it that may turn some people away. But it is a bold film, sublimely realised, erotic, feral, primal and it will play on your senses long after it is over.

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