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Does Raw Live Up to the Hype of Being One of the Most Disgusting Films Ever?

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Raw (2016) AKA Grave  

Written and Directed by: Julia Ducournau

Starring: Garance Marillier, and Ella Rumpf

Run Time: 99 mins.

The French have made some of the best horror films of all time, as well as some of the most disturbing. Diabolique, High Tension, Martyrs, I could go on. Adding to this illustrious list is newcomer Julia Ducournau with her feature length film debut Raw (2016).

This movie gained a lot of attention when it premiered during Cannes and it was claimed the viewers were not only walking out of screenings but vomiting in the theaters. While these claims are a bit believable after seeing this film, the gore is not what stuck out the most to me. This film should be recognized more for its aestic and performances than for its gore.

The first thing that really struck me about this film was the mix of beautifully shot, well lit scenes accented by unpolished realism. You can see the dog hair on the main characters sweater, blemishes on her face, the dialogue is natural—perfectly imperfect. Even though the subject matter is a bit outrageous you’re still able to suspend your disbelief. Quite frankly Ducournau should be teaching most Hollywood directors how to direct.I wish I could say the same thing about the writing however. Despite having a solid storyline, and great dialogue the writing is a bit lazy at times. Especially when it comes to the conclusion, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Raw tells the story of a young woman named Justine (Marillier) sent off to school by her parents to become a veterinarian. Her older sister Alexia (Rumpf) also attends this school as an upperclassman. After a hazing ritual involving eating a raw rabbit liver, Justine (the once devout vegetarian) all of a sudden starts to crave meat…raw meat. Nothing seams to sate her craving and it eventually develops into a craving for fresh.

This is really where are story begins, and while I’d love to go into more detail I’d much rather you be surprised. I know Raw made my jaw drop more than a few times. This movie is not for the faint of heart. This is body horror, a sub-genre even many veteran horror fans struggle with. If you have a hard time with gore then you should probably avoid this one.

However, if you think you can handle it then I highly recommend going and see this movie in theaters. Raw is not only worth your money, it’s one of my favorite films I’ve seen this year.

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