Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Raw

of 6 viewers "Liked" "Raw" (2017, France)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "JRR Tolkien created the standard for fantasy storytelling. It seems a bit strange that something titled fantasy would be limited by themes and very specific tropes. So why did I feel Raw fell short in the cannibal department? There is definitely human on human consumption but there is also a lot more going on. A young woman's coming of age story is mostly what people are talking about but I was most interested by the theme of self-discovery and the idea of society suppressing our animal instincts. The confusion some of the creatures had after an unusual sexual encounter fascinated me, the subtext was literally proving point about societal standards before my eyes...  Julia Ducournau also deserves her credit. Raw is brilliantly shot and I couldn't have been more impressed with the first party sequence. It not only captures the mania and claustrophobia of the situation but it expresses high energy while feeling completely authentic. It's a shame that this film is getting the Hostel treatment from horror fans (peasants can't handle the gore so horror fans expect something insane and are not impressed) when Raw should be getting praised as the bastard child of Larry Clark & David Cronenberg." - 4.5 Stars

Huntress - "I'm fascinated by present day cannibalism films, but when it comes to Raw, the relationship dynamics between people stuck out most to me. We don't get to see much of the development behind the rest of the cast, only catching them in the middle or end of seemingly out of character actions. What we do get is exclusive insight into​ is the main character, Justine, as she endures a mostly mental, but surprisingly physical transformation into something that does not make sense to her, but that she seems to embrace. Her physical changes are probably the most unsettling; I didn't realize there would be so much oozing and flaking body horror. Coming from a strict upbringing, Justine becomes a total mess when she finally tastes college freedom. Raw is difficult to watch but something you need to see twice." - 3.5 Stars

The Impostor - "The latest horror film to receive many positive reviews during its film fest run and indie circuits is Raw. Raw is marketed as one gory sick film that will make you squirm, cringe, and possibly vomit but I got none of those things. While I did like the film, I feel it's over hyped for what it is. There are a few memorable moments that were pretty haunting and intense, just nothing to squirm over. The acting and visuals were definitely the strong points​ of the film. Overall I'd recommend checking this film out. While there's quite​ a bit of blood it's not as gory as you think." - 3.5 Stars

Randy the Reverberator - "So, I saw Raw this week amidst having a really gnarly two day fever. I had a ticket to an early screening of it at the Alamo Drafthouse that I didn't want to miss, as I'd been been hyped on seeing it since I first saw the trailer. We were greeted with Raw-branded barf bags before taking our seats.. and having barfed into a bag literally the night before, I figured even if the movie sucked I'd have gotten​ something of potential use out of the experience. Thankfully, Raw didn't suck, but I also felt like the trailer (and the barf bags) were trying to sell a more shocking film. The tone felt more akin to something like 2007's Teeth with more foreign arthouse influence. There are some very memorable moments that will definitely stick with me, but for a guy who claims to not care for horror...I wanted more...horror...or to be provoked a little more. Like, think about what it would be like if Michael Haneke directed this thing. I need to see Raw again, in a non DayQuil haze, and without the expectations of the trailer in my mind anymore. So...this is my very raw review, of a movie titled Raw. Member of the Overlook, Clark Little will hate that "joke", but that's fine." - 3.5 Stars

Captured by the Beast - "Great to see what veterinary school has in store for my little brother! I love the way this was shot form beginning to end. There was one scene that was a little hard to watch but I feel that it makes the movie even more interesting. Overall a great movie and has me guessing if vegetarians are what they say they are.. 🤔" - 4 Stars (side note - if you are squeamish, don't be that guy. Go watch it, I was expecting more gore since they handed me a small barf bag before entering the theater)

Math Mage - "An introverted young woman goes away to college and experiences culture shock. Also there is some cannibalism." - 3 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

(Below is for after you've seen the film)

The theme of power and evolution are prevalent throughout Raw and both are represented through various means. One of those milestone moments was highlighted with the help of some well placed music. In an interview with, writer/director Julia Ducournau goes into detail about one scene in particular.

Justine wants to be a veterinarian in part because of the self-awareness she believes animals possess. After certain primal instincts are awakened in her, Justine experiences her own self-awareness, epitomized by the scene where she kisses her reflection in a mirror.

Yeah, definitely, she’s aware of her power. That’s the moment where she starts being empowered by her needs and desires, and she finally accepts them. That’s why I allowed the full song to play over the scene, and I didn’t cut it. We needed to linger on this moment because it’s when Justine becomes conscious of her body for the first time. Raw is often described as a film about people who devour each other, and in the case of this scene, Justine is eating up her own reflection. That’s why the camera is placed behind the mirror and we see her eating the screen as if she’s going to eat the audience as well. She wants to get more and more strength, so she looks in the mirror and consumes herself. You can make a comparison between this scene and the earlier one where she is puking herself up by coughing up her own hair. The mirror scene can be considered a step forward in terms of Justine’s expectations about herself and the empowerment that goes with it. She’s not at the level of self-loathing that she was before.

I loved the music that you and composer Jim Williams chose to accompany Justine’s first taste of human flesh.

Up to that moment, Justine’s theme is performed with an acoustic guitar. Sometimes it’s used comedically, such as when she has the high heels and finds she can’t walk in them. But once she tastes that flesh, the acoustic guitar becomes an electric guitar. It’s way darker and more punk in a way. Suddenly, her destiny has fallen on her shoulders, and she realizes that she cannot escape it. I really wanted to convey a sense of fatality, and that is how Jim came up with the idea to use the organ. It is a brilliant choice because the organ is the instrument of church that illuminates not only sin but the genealogy of sin. It gives the scene a Gothic vibe that I was really aiming for from the beginning, since this is kind of a Gothic tale. What I found to be a genius decision on Jim’s part was when he took that same theme and placed it later in the film, during the soccer game. This time, the theme is performed with a harpsichord. It’s so smart because the harpsichord is also a baroque instrument but it is deprived of any religious feeling. The harpsichord is completely pagan, it is Mozart. To take the same theme that had conveyed how Justine was crushed by fatality and destiny, and to transform it into a pagan expression of her empowerment and acceptance of her needs and desires, demonstrates just how deeply Jim was in touch with the character.

-Excerpt from

(Rap from the mirror scene)

-Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in the New Mission theatre for a screening on 3/14/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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