RAW is a 2016 French-Belgian movie I’ve been planning to see for years. All I knew is that it was something about cannibalism, directed by a woman (Julia Ducournau), supposedly made people faint at film festivals (haven’t we all?), and is beloved by many horror loving friends and critics, especially women. With Ducournau’s new one TITANE looking very promising even before it won the Palme d’Or (the trailer makes it look like Cronenberg meets Tarantino meets THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS) I figured I better catch up.
This is a great movie. The directorial confidence is immediately striking, but you have to flow with it a while to realize just how original it is, how much it doesn’t follow any existing template. Ducournau told The Guardian “It’s not even a horror movie, even though I love horror movies.” It’s a coming of age story about a young woman starting college, with very relatable emotions painted in extreme, horrific strokes. It definitely doesn’t follow any traditional genre structure. But Justine’s school troubles include some repulsive body horror, some gore, and yes, some munching on flesh. We’re not talking Leatherface style – more like impulsive biting. Snacking, really. The simplicity of it, and the time it takes leading up to it, investing us in the people who do it, is what makes it harder to take than in so many other movies. (read the rest of this shit…)