The Chive

Cinemavenger

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​​​Raw


​No, it's not the crazy funny Eddie Murphy stand-up comedy special from 1987. Nor is it a crazy stupid professional wrestling show on Monday nights. And it's definitely not the crazy risky way you dogged that sketchy chick from the bar the other night, which is why you're at the clinic today getting tested for every STD from A to Z. It's a crazy weird French horror movie from 2016 that's currently streaming on Netflix.


I only watched Raw because a buddy of mine, let's call him Mince, told me that if I didn't watch it my life would never be complete. Mince is one of those guys who refuses to watch anything Marvel. He's all about art house, indie, bizarro flicks, so I knew what I was most likely getting into, and Raw hit the head on the nail.


Justine (Garance "Escargot" Marillier) was raised to be a devout vegetarian by her militantly anti-meat mama. Then she heads off to veterinary school, and apparently veterinary schools in France are run like American fraternities, because she and the rest of the freshmen are subjected to a set of Hell Week style hazing rituals faster than you can say "fromage." One such ritual is being forced to eat raw meat, a piece of rabbit liver or some such.


Well, "forced" may be too strong a word. Justine could have refused to eat the bunny bit, but as her sister, Alexia (Ella "I Like Big" Rumpf), who also attends the school explains, if Justine chickens out (ha!) she'll be a social reject for her entire academic career. Unfortunately, after Justine gets her first taste of meat, she quickly develops cannibalistic urges that get stronger faster than French body odor on an August afternoon.


Justine is a virgin, so writer/director Julia "Childs" Ducournau clearly intends for Raw to be a sweeping metaphor for female sexuality, girl power, and whatnot. If that's what you're looking for in your indie horror movie, check out the far superior getting-your-period-is-like-becoming-a-werewolf jawn from 2000, Ginger Snaps.


Why does Ginger Snaps eat Raw's lunch? Mostly because the "big twist" in Raw is shouted louder than "Keep your laws off my body!" in the first scene but also because big pieces of this would-be profound horror nosh make less sense than overturning Roe v. Wade. Props to Rumpf, though, for going ovaries out for the title of 2016's Fairuza Balk.


May 20, 2022


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