31 foreign films in 31 days


RAW // GRAVE (2016)

DIR: Julia Ducournau

~October 25th: Day 25 of “31 Days of Horror”~

I was first drawn to this film based on the fact I saw it listed as a horror movie not for the squeamish, and that people freaked out at the subject matter on initial release. It is indeed correct to say this film is not for the faint of heart, or the easily grossed out.

I was not scared, as I would not call it a scary horror flick, but I found myself cringing with my hands on my face at many moments and simply wondering what the f*ck was going on. The strange, visceral, desire for meat that Justine’s character cannot fight is disturbing, and we watch this maddening descent take place as she lusts for blood. The film grows more disturbing as it goes along, and although it lacks a very dramatic or gory climax, it is filled with little twists and a surprise at the end that leaves all your preconceptions about Justine’s family and its dynamics turned upside down. 

In many ways, it reminds me of The Neon Demon as it has bits of electronic music and focuses on girls in a high pressure career, breaking down and desiring the bodies and blood of others. The lighting and use of color is much more natural than Refn’s, but I still love the look of this and it has some very charming long shots that I adored in spite of the grotesque subject matter. Overall, it is a delicately directed, classy film that focuses on the rawest human urge.

I am glad I took a bite of a new, offbeat horror movie this month. French cinema, as always, pushes all boundaries and it succeeds with a final product that will leave your stomach turning and leave you begging for more art horror cinema in your life.

For Fans of: The Neon Demon, It Follows, Suspiria