Justine is starting her educational journey at a veterinary school in France when during a hazing ritual, she is forced to eat a rabbit kidney. She’s obviously against this as she’s a vegetarian (don’t scream yet, that isn’t the scary part) but she reluctantly digests it; her first piece of (barely) edible animal.
After this, she starts to feel an unwelcome urge for meat which has her sneaking into her roommate’s fridge for salmon and stealing burgers from the cafeteria. This is all fine and dandy until a fun night with her sister ends with her eating said sister’s finger (don’t ask how, you’ll have to watch the film).
This surprisingly scrumptious finger-fiasco leads to Justine’s sister revealing she too has a craving for human flesh. Then college life goes on as usual; parties, exams, cannibalistic behaviours… the norm.
For the most part, Raw is fantastic. It manages to perfectly walk the line of having a silly concept come out as terrifyingly serious and present. And everything in the film complements this;
The score will be the first thing you remember (if not the vegetarian’s literal finger bites) as it is minimalistically jarring, very much resembling the tone of the film.
The film itself is one you won’t forget, be it for the original concept, the unforgettable horror or even just THAT ending. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.
My only fault with the film would be that it doesn’t go deep enough into the character. It explores the character’s situation greatly and it does everything it can to make sure the experience is unique but I neither fear nor cheer for the protagonist, but maybe that’s the point.
If it was the point, congratulations Julia Ducournau, you succeeded. But I’m still slightly indifferent about the character.
In conclusion, I’d recommend Raw for its originality alone, except originality isn’t its only strong suit. From a filmmaking perspective, I think aspiring horror directors and writers should take notes. While from an audience perspective, I think filmgoers should expand their vocabulary of cinema horror.
But heed this warning; do not proceed if you have a weak stomach. You’ll most likely feel the urge to throw up.
What did you think of Raw? Did it make you want to throw up? Did it make you want to go vegetarian? Did it make you want to become a cannibal? I doubt it did but I’m genuinely curious about the film’s consequences.
4 / 5 eaten fingers
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(This trailer makes it look a lot faster paced than it really is)