Whilst there has always been a male monopoly within cinema, horror film-making has particularly been skewed towards the wants of the lesser sex. If you were an actress in genre cinema, it was likely that you looked like/were a model and wore clothes sparingly, if at all. You’d likely die, but not before a disturbingly lingering and completely superfluous sex scene. Even if you survived, your outfit wouldn’t. Thankfully, we’re now in the middle of a huge sea change for the better. Female directors are getting to make the films they want to without having to pander to a perceived audience. Coralie Fargeat and Matilda Lutz take things to another level in Revenge.
Jen (Lutz) is looking forward to a romantic weekend with her married millionaire beau Richard (Kevin Janssens) in a luxury pad he’s rented in the middle of the desert. However, she’s in for a surprise when a couple of his hunting buddies, Stanley (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède), arrive unexpectedly. Her sense of unease deepens when Stanley takes a shine to her and won’t accept no for an answer.
Revenge is an extremely clever femsploitation film which inverts and twists genre norms and clichés. Fargeat masterfully plays up to stereotypes before ingeniously subverting and owning them. Jen takes the power back. Not just to choose her own destiny but to do so in a way which takes total control. The hunters become the prey, both figuratively and literally. Revenge is a brutal, bloody and brilliant French horror which grabs you by the balls and rips them off.
Revenge is out in cinemas from 11 May.