Director: Coralie Fargeat
18 | 1h 48min | Action, Thriller | 11 May 2018 (UK)
Do we need another rape-revenge drama? Writer-director Coralie Fargeat thinks we do, and her being a woman director taking on one of the most divisive sub-genres certainly makes this worthy of attention. But Fargeat brings a lot to the table here in this bloodily comedic neo-exploitation beyond the novelty of her gender. Revenge might be as subtle as a blowtorch to the face, and guilty of having its cake and eating it (like most 'commentary' films are), but its dual flaunting and subverting of the codes of the genre (the gaze, male on female violence) is backed up by some striking visuals, a volley of baroquely gruesome kills and injury-repair sequences (including the surprisingly resilient protagonist Jen cauterizing her impalement wound with a heated beer can whilst high on peyote), and devilish skill at building up the tension as hunter stalks prey. By the end ,the typical gaze of films is being subverted, as extended male nudity and a stalking camera put hunted manflesh in the spotlight. Expect plenty of exploding heads throughout.