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Part sister bonding, part coming-of-age story, part gross-out horror flick, Julia Ducornau’s debut feature RAW is the terror discovery of the year.
Brilliant, shy 16-year-old Justine heads to the same veterinary college her parents attended, and where her older sister, Alexia, is also a student. Along with the other newbies, Justine is subjected to a series of bizarre initiations, including a hazing ritual that forces her to eat a raw rabbit liver. Although she’s a committed vegetarian, Justine is desperate to fit in and ultimately caves to the peer pressure. Afterward, she develops a voracious appetite for meat, which unfortunately begins to include a taste for human flesh. At the same time, the young virgin’s new carnivorous tendencies comingle with her burgeoning sexual desires, leading to a truly disturbing awakening and a crazed showdown between the non-exactly-nurturing sisters. A grisly, viscerally-charged experience, RAW is art-house horror of the highest order – a darkly funny coming-of-age story with a truly bloody heart.
“Raw, Julia Ducournau’s jangly opera of sexual and dietary awakening, is an exceptionally classy-looking movie about deeply horrifying behavior.”
– NEW YORK TIMES
“If ‘Get Out’ reminds folks that you can smuggle intelligent social commentary and timely conversation-starters in to theaters via explosive genre packages, then Ducournau’s feature debut doubles down on the notion. In terms of the female-body politic, it’s an art-horror dirty bomb.”
– ROLLING STONE
The film gained an unfortunate reputation as a gross-out cannibal shocker on the festival circuit, and while that categorization is not entirely, technically incorrect — this is a piece of body horror, and an intensely visceral one — it detracts from the striking imagery and layered symbolism of Ducournau’s uncommonly assured debut feature.”
– A.V. CLUB