Dir: Julia Ducournau
When a young woman named Justine arrives at an elitist school for veterinarians, she hastily realizes she has bitten off more than she can chew. During her new schools "hell week" the freshmen are subjected to various degrading rituals, the least of which is havung to eat a small piece of raw meat. This in itself presents a life changing moment to Justine, as she is a life long vegetarian. Afterwards however Justine breaks out in a violent rash, and begins to have fevered dreams. It seems she now craves to eat meat, and the fresher it is, the better. Things begin to spiral out of control when a young woman has an accident, and Justine can't resist the urge to taste, and feed off the young womans blood. Now, Justine has a craving for more, and she may not have the strength to resist her urges anymore.
French new wave extremity is a varied genre to say the least, and its catalogue of films manisfest themselves in all shapes and sizes. 'Raw' is fairly unique amonst them as it isnt overly gory, but instead uses subtle, yet disturbing, content to shock. A combination of extremely good direction, well done visual style, and stomach chirning scenes of awkward violence strangle-hold viewers with a tight grip of anxiety. The uneasy atmosphere of the film is well done, and disarms viewers before the truly chaotic nature of the film presents itself. While the cannibal genre doesn't see as many entries as other subgenres, it is tackled in a truly unsettling matter here by Ducournau. There are light touches of humor here, and there, but over-all the tone of the film is devastatingly haunting. The storyline is handled with a level of realism that makes it feel uncomfortabe to watch, and the ability to instill that feeling shows powerful filmmaking. Easily one of the best cannibal films since 1998's Ravenous.
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