Second Sight are releasing this French language film directed by Julia Ducournau and produced in 2017 in all its gory glory on a limited edition Blu-ray. Raw is an unusual film to say the least. It’s a coming-of-age story, but with a truly revolting twist that makes the film, at times, hard to watch. Justine (Garance Marillier) is a young girl just starting her studies at a weirdly remote veterinary school, the same as her older sister. She is a lifelong vegetarian, until the older students subject her and the new intake to a series of hazing rituals. One of these involves swallowing raw rabbit kidneys, followed with a shot of spirits. Reluctant to participate, she is more or less forced to succumb by her sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf). Justine soon finds that she has opened up a Pandora’s box by eating flesh for the first time, and craves more. Her appetite increases, and her tastes take a turn toward cannibalism when Alexia accidentally cuts her finger off.
The film tries to straddle a traditional coming over age tale of a young virgin beginning to explore her sexuality with a horror element that her arousal also compounds her inability to control her appetite for human flesh. It’s a strange mix, which never quite works because Justine soon loses any semblance of audience sympathy despite her hazing. We feel sorrier for her victims, but again, they’re not fully fleshed out (pun intended) so the audience is detached from them as well as Justine. It becomes an artful mess which, despite some stomach turning make up effects that are themselves shocking to look at and convincing in their grisliness, ultimately fails to engage.
Included in this special edition are a slew of interviews and panels, along with a selection of deleted scenes that add nothing to the finished product.
Release Date: April 19th