You know how when you’re wanting to go to the movie theater and you look up all the films that are showing and there are alway at least three that you’ve never heard of, let alone have any interest in seeing? Well, good news! I’ve seen those movies. I spend most of my theater experiences in art house theaters watching those movies that you’ve never heard of and then never watch. Yeah, I’m that hipster asshole. My goal with this is to spread information out about these films, that way you can decide one of the following. “That actually sounds pretty cool! I want to see that now!” or “Man, I’m glad I decided to go see the new superhero movie!”. So without further ado, here is my article and review of Raw.
There are very few times in a film where I can tell from the first five minutes if I’m going to dislike a film. The moment a whole bunch of young freshman are crawling through trash in their underwear in slow motion is a good example of this. At this point I was like, well this is stupid and annoying. And then the gross stuff started happening and I knew I was in for a boring time as well as a waste of time. For real though, this whole movie is garbage.
Raw is a french film about a young freshman girl at Vet School who starts to lose her mind and become a cannibal. Sometimes I will throw in some flourishes to my reviews when it comes to the plot. I do this as a way to get the reader more engaged in the film and can share my feelings about the film with the reader, kind of like a way to have a discussion. But this film deserves nothing. Yeah, there is symbolism in the film for various different things. And when I say various I mean various. This film has no idea what it is trying to symbolize. Is it a family thing? Is it a straight campy vampire thing? Is it about the indulges of young people? Is it a sex thing? Don’t worry! It’s all of those things and more! But none of it matters because when you are everything you are absolutely nothing! It doesn’t make you more complex, it just makes you look like a try-hard and a know it all. You know what the second biggest flag of being a try-hard or a know it all? When you attempt to do symbolize something but do it with the subtly of fisting a cow. Which by the way happens in this film. So yeah, no flourishes for this review. This is about a freshman girl at Vet School who starts to lose her mind and become a cannibal.
I’m not a fan of gimmicks in a film. It can completely break a film for me. That being said, I tend to look past gimmicks in some cases if it makes the film at least a little interesting (example: Boyhood). But you know what I dislike even more than gimmicks? Gross things! And this film’s gimmick is gross things! God damn it movie! I wanted to like you! I specifically went to go see this film because James was complaining about it on the podcast! I wanted to see it and give it a good review just to mess with James! Why do I do this to myself? Why do I make myself question my love for cinema for a gag? But back to the gimmick.
Think about something gross. It’s in this film. I don’t care what you just thought of, it’s in this film. I feel like the director wrote down every gross thing her mind could come up with and used that as an outline for the film. I imagine she probably was like “Urine is gross. How can I write a scene around that? Then how can I send that into waxing vaginas?” I’m not against all gross things. I am a fan of the Jackass films and recently I’ve taken up Pauly Shore’s filmography because I hate myself. So gross things aren’t a complete deal breaker for me. But when the film is so clearly only doing this for notoriety, it bothers me.
There is no purpose for most of the gross stuff in this film. And I can tell you that a lot of it was only put in the film for a promotional standpoint. This film wants you to walk out. It wants you to walk out so badly. The only reason why anyone cares about this film what-so-ever is because when it premiered in festivals, half of the crowd walked out because it was so gross. And don’t get me wrong, I love walk out movies. One of my favorite films of all time is a film I saw at a festival where half the audience was not present when the credits began to roll. But I love that film because despite including things that aren’t pleasant, those things are needed for the story. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE LAST SHOT OF THE SCENE TO BE SOMEONE PULLING THEIR ARM OUT OF A COW’S ASS. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE NEXT SCENE TO BE TWO SISTERS URINATING WHILE STANDING UP. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE SCENE AFTER THIS TO INCLUDE MASSIVE CLOSE UPS OF WAX BEING STUCK ON A VAGINA. These shots, and to an extent these scenes, are only placed in the film because they wanted people to walk out. That way once the film was in the distribution stage, they could use that as marketing for the film. The only reason why I know of this film is because of the walkouts. I only know about this film because of how “gross” it is. And yes the film has gross imagery. But what is more disgusting is how calculated and unnecessary the film is.
The more infuriating thing is a “plot twist” halfway through. It’s not a plot twist. It’s a reveal that is given that explains some things in the film but it is so half-assed that I am refusing to straight say “plot twist”. It happens and I start to think “Oh! I actually like this. Let’s expand on this and maybe this will be a great example of something that is awful for the first half but picks up in the second half.” NOPE. That interesting thing is almost completely brushed off at first and then immediately becomes another bad part of the film without any kind of development. It’s like they wrote that part in the script and was like “Hey! We haven’t referenced necrophilia yet! Screw this interesting development! That won’t cause walk outs!”
This film legitimately makes me angry. And it is difficult to make me really mad at a film. But this is the kind of film that shows the dark and sick part of filmmaking, especially in the indie world where there should be less of it. The film is so manipulating to its audience and so calculated that it makes me want to vomit, which also happens in this film by the way. I don’t say this often, and maybe I’m only saying it because I had a bad week. But I hate this film. This might legitimately be one of the worst films I have ever seen. And not completely for the film itself, but how it sold itself. You take nothing away from this film besides “Gross”. This film has just as much substance and enjoyability as Slaughtered Vomit Dolls. The only difference is that at least Slaughtered Vomit Dolls never acted like it was anything other than complete garbage.