AndersonVision Best Films of 2017: #20 – Raw (Focus Features)
“Raw” has stayed with me most of the year. Hell, it’s the reason I love where horror has been heading this year. While nothing about the film reinvents the wheel, it does tackle the innate horror of female sexuality. Whether it’s Lugosi discussing the power of the vampire or Leatherface having to understand why his chainsaw responds to Stretch in a certain way, women have a special way of impacting how horror is processed. The blood is life and women understand this in a way that men can only read about in books. As the film follows the young Justine into a period of discovery, the young lady learns about the magic of blood and meat.
When she eats, it awakens her. Nobody is a thread, but they are future meals to be processed on her terms. Those mousy eyes seem to roll back in her head, as everyone in her path could be attacked next. I get the use of the Carrie style incident to trigger her new addiction. What King and DePalma brought into the modern vernacular has become shorthand of the horrors of womanhood. But, when Justine turns this event into her new lifestyle, it’s not scary.
Many people don’t know how to process Raw and I think that’s amazing. Cannibalism should never be understood, but acknowledged. No matter how civil things try to become throughout history, it’s that dirty little secret that hangs about us all. Tying such a bizarre mystery to the emerging sexuality of a young woman could’ve been handled poorly. I wasn’t aware of Julia Ducournau before this film, but I’ll be watching her career with great interest. It’s been on home video and Netflix for awhile, so check it out.
- 1 hr and 39 mins
- Focus World
RELEASE DATE: 3/10/17
The Plot Thus Far
When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.