Julia Ducournau’s Raw is a powerful coming of age movie about a young woman discovering who she is after she goes to university for the first time. Raw just also happens to be a coming of age story which features cannibalism as a central concept. This carnivorous French-Belgian horror sees a brilliant central performance from Garance Marillier – one which transcends the film’s genre roots to make it a captivating drama about finding out who you are and where you come from.
Ducournau’s film sees Justine (Marillier), young veterinary student arrive at university for her first term. When the vegetarian is forced to eat meat for the first time during an initiation, she discovers that she has an insatiable taste for it. Soon nothing will stop her hunger.
Raw is a film which captivates its audience and takes them on Justine’s journey of self discovery and we are with her every step of the way. Ducournau has crafted a film where we’re symbiotic with Justine as she tries to uncover why her life is changing in a way which is very unexpected. Garance Marillier’s performance is pitch perfect – emotional, powerful and…ravenous.
Ruben Impens’ cinematography is rich and vibrant, going against the usual genre style, while Jim Williams’ score is richly evocative. Few genre films over the last few years have the visual and aural vibrancy of Raw. Again, it’s a genre film which doesn’t look or sound like a genre film – but that’s not to say that Ducournau is trying to push away from the tropes. She leans into the gore in a big, big way and film has nods towards classic blood-soaked horrors such as Tony Scott’s The Hunger and Brian De Palma’s Carrie (amongst others).
A film which crosses genre boundaries, Raw will surprise you and and surpass your expectations.
This Second Sight Films blu-ray release is loaded with delicious extras – and it certainly won’t leave you asking for more.
You get new interviews with Raw‘s star Garance Marillier, producer Jean des Forets and witer-dircetor Julia Ducournau. The disc also comes with a commentary from film critic Alexandra West and another from Julia Ducournau and critic Emma Westwood. It also includes an alternate opening deleted scenes, discussion panels, video essays and more! Fantastic.