Movie Review: Raw (2016)

Title: Raw

Director: Julia Ducournau

Starring: Garance Marillier, Rabah Nair Oufella, Ella Rumpf

Rating: C

Recommended?: No

Genre: Horror

Watched On: Netflix Instant

For a movie that allegedly made people throw up and pass out at film festivals, I found Raw to be both underwhelming and forgettable. It tells the story of a wide-eyed young vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier) who develops a insatiable hunger for human flesh after a hazing ritual at her veterinary school. The film starts out with promisingly before lapsing into complete silliness in it’s second act, and it doesn’t even have the good sense to go all the way as a black comedy.


One glaring issue is the lead’s acting; it’s very flat and lacks the appropriate sense of fear and confusion to pull off the role and turn Justine into a sympathetic character. The way she’s written, she’s simply a vegetarian who craves human meat- there’s nothing particularly human or memorable about her.


A stronger actress than Marillier might make us feel Justine’s mounting terror at her developing cannibalistic appetites but instead Justine is a fairly dull character. In fact, none of the characters are particularly interesting or worth caring about; Justine’s party animal sister (Ella Rumpf) and her bisexual roommate (Rabah Nair Oufella) are almost entirely one-dimensional. Of course, most people don’t look for strong character development in a horror movie but it helps if you have someone to care about and that’s seriously lacking here.


As for the gore; it’s not as shocking as you might have been led to believe. I always wonder about the kind of people who go into a movie about cannibalism and then puke or pass out. Don’t they know what they’re signing up for when they come in? I can tell you that I’ve seen worse, and there are much better ‘extreme’ horror movies out there. Raw isn’t in the same annals of trash as, say, the Human Centipede trilogy; it’s got some things going for it, it’s well-shot and has a cool twist ending that almost (but not quite) redeems it’s shoddy second half. I think if it took itself a little less seriously and the filmmaker took the ending in a slightly different direction it could be a pretty solid flick.


Unfortunately, Raw is a movie whose shocker premise is the most memorable thing about it. It’s a shame in my opinion that the film falls flat, because as a connoisseur of weird and disturbing movies I was fully prepared to like it and I thought it had a lot of potential. Unfortunately the controversial content in Raw isn’t as objectionable as the flat character and lazy storytelling.  I’d give this movie a pass and watch one of the hundreds of excellent horror films out there, this one just isn’t worth bothering with.




3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Raw (2016)

  1. Sorry this one didn’t work for you, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It did get a bit silly, but I thought the movie handled it well. And I loved the twist ending. I fully agree with you that people’s reactions to the gore is overblown, as it usually is.

    Liked by 1 person

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