I recently watched the French horror movie Raw.
Jesus, the French scare me.
Their horror is visceral. Their horror is philosophical. They work on so many levels. Martyrs challenges your views on faith and the afterlife. Raw makes me think about how college rips away the sheltering embrace of family and tosses you into the hard world.
Our main character has lived in a very safe family environment, with an older sister who has gone on to veterinary school, where she follows. A die-hard vegetarian, she thinks that people are going to give her a pass on one of the hazings: eating a rabbit’s raw kidney.
What happens is not only a fall from grace, but a plummet to hell. This is a movie that chronicles the spoiling of an innocent woman at the hands of friends and family (!). Raw is an aptly named movie. It is a raw, unflinching tear-down with a reveal at the end that calls to mind the adage ‘do as I say, not as I do’.
French horror isn’t like American horror, nor is it like Japanese horror. French horror is a bloody philosophy class. If you can focus and not flinch, you’ll learn something about yourself. Their blood is up front and frank. There are no spirits to be placated as in Japanese horror. There is no mad killer with a mask as in American horror. The horror is not in the unknown, or the unfathomable. The horror is found in the unfeeling. The world doesn’t care, but it’s not the alien uncaring of cosmic horror. The world smokes a cigarette and tells you that he’s a fag, so they naturally paired him with a female roommate because what’s the difference?
Until, for some odd reason, he takes the virginity of his roommate. That was the one scene that kinda took me out of the movie, but it set up the climax (yes, I know what I said) in the movie’s final act. We see her fall, and know that we’ve experienced the same thing, but perhaps in a much smaller scale. Free from the structure of home, how many of us have bitten the apple, or in the case of our main character the forbidden kidney?
This is one of the few horror movies that merits more than one view. Watch it once for the gore, but come back to it for the philosophy. Definitely worth your while.