Director: Julia Ducournau
Score: Jim Williams.
The fresh Julia Ducournau not only scripts and screenplays, but she also directs this Belgian/French film as her main feature debut. The story of a girl rediscovering herself and awakening a lurid desire. It's a simple plot that's easily to digest, unlike the rest of the film that can be quite unsettling for some. Several people fainted and walked out to vomit during it's screening at the Gothenburg Film Festival in Sweden.
We follow Justine, a young, devout vegetarian who goes to veterinary college to start her first year of studies. Like most colleges or universities, there's that hazing initiation all freshmen are put through which sets things in motion for Justine's carnal appetite. The story is fleshed out with a running time of 99minutes that just increases the suspense, the intrigue of what's going to happen next.
Marillier is astonishing real, stripping away the character's innocence, sexuality and her eventual hunger pains as she struggles with her new found identity and menu decisions. It's not far off Peter Parker discovering his superpowers, but instead of being able to climb walls it's having a grotesque craving for flesh. Herself being the main focus throughout, she carries the film superbly as she interacts with her fellow students and older sister, another student but experienced and comfortable with her way of life. The rest of the cast are brilliant, mostly supported by Rumpf as the older sibling and Oufella as her roommate, who both add great meat for the story to grow
Ducournau direction is quite diverse, offering some amazing and stunning sequences, but is very European art-house with it. What makes her scenes gut-wrenchingly good is Jim Williams' powerful, intense and frightful score. However, whilst there can be a long lasting effect, the film isn't as horrifying as one might expect. It's more shocking, disgusting and bemusing than being terrifying. It's has the same shock horror we've seen in Neon Demon, or more recently, A Cure for Wellness.
I could see more from this story, welcoming a sequel or even a prequel, but I can also envision Hollywood taking hold and churning out a reworked version. And as much as I get annoyed by this inevitable remake, I'm already thinking Rooney Mara would make an excellent Justine. I am also looking forward to seeing what else Ducournau comes out with.
It's finger licking good and is exactly as the title suggests. Raw. Not suitable for vegetarians and may contain nuts.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 7
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for the simple yet nail biting overall film.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: If on special.