When it comes to a quick meaty snack, or indeed a mixed grill, it’s probably best to avoid them on the same day as watching a film about cannibalism. As anyone who’s seen Cannibal Holocaust will likely attest, probably best viewed on an empty stomach. Whilst many of these sub-genre films can be hard to stomach and a bit of a mouthful, Julia Ducournau feature debut Raw is a sizzling and mouth-watering treat.
Justine (Garance Marillier) is leaving home for the first time and heading to college to study veterinary science. As a life-long vegetarian she’s passionate about animal welfare, following in the footsteps of her parents and older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf), who also attends the same institution. As part of her initiation, she must eat a raw rabbit kidney, and does so to fit in. This has a weird effect on her, rendering her desperate to sate an insatiable need for flesh.
Raw is a stunning debut. It’s fast paced, fresh and frenetic, with a breath-taking lead performance from Marillier. Julia Ducournau delivers an effortlessly vibrant debut, full of verve and energy, accompanied by a pumping soundtrack. Ignore the media reports, it’s not that graphic and brilliantly melded with very dark humour. Raw is a high tempo thrill ride into the darkness. Easily one of the best debuts of 2016 from one of the most exciting new voices in film.