‘What are you hungry for?’
Raw – also titled Grave – is a 2016 French-Belgian horror film written and directed by Julia Ducournau. It stars Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf and Rabah Nait Oufella.
As reported by The Guardian, a screening of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2016 resulted in paramedics being called. “An ambulance had to be called to the scene as the film became too much for a couple patrons,” Ryan Werner, who is handling the film’s marketing, said in a statement.
Raw is being released in France in March 2017, while Focus Features picked the film up for distribution in the United States with a Sundance screening in January 2017.
Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At sixteen, she’s a brilliant and promising student. When she starts at veterinary school, she enters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world.
During the first week of hazing rituals, desperate to fit in whatever the cost, she strays from her family principles when she eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences of her actions when her true self begins to emerge…
“Ducourneau, a first-time writer-director, shows surprisingly sharp command and, more importantly, restraint given the subject matter. Although the film is rooted in arthouse film territory, and is particularly inspired by the films of David Cronenberg and David Lynch, Raw turns out to be its own wild animal. It has rightly earned the buzz that has surrounded the picture, and Ducourneau’s uncompromising vision is one to watch.” Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist
“Certainly, coming-of-age films that use genre semantics are not uncommon, but Raw takes this to another level, in fact questioning the use of the semantic while finding its central power and horror. As an allegory of the discovery of identity, shifting sexuality, the sexual power of women, and the first steps into adulthood, it’s a unique and rare film, that will hopefully (and deservedly) find an audience beyond genre film fans.” Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Screen Anarchy
“Ducournau’s control of her material is masterful … The script is at once fiercely original and replete with a rich awareness of the genre, smoothly referencing films from Carrie to Ginger Snaps and The Craft. Marillier is excellent, playing Justine with a subtlety and assurance that grounds the film, even at its most extreme.” Chloe Roddick, Sight & Sound
“Raw is a deliciously fevered stew of nightmare fuel that hangs together with a breezily confident sense of superior craft. Genre-led distribs will be slavering for a taste, while crossover to a slightly more mainstream crowd may be possible, provided they have strong stomachs.” Catherine Bray, Variety
“Everyone but vegetarians will feast their eyes on Raw (Grave), a cleverly written, impressive made and incredibly gory tale of one young woman’s awakening to the pleasures of the flesh — in all senses of the term. Marking the feature debut of French director Julia Ducournau, who leads a terrific young cast into a maelstrom of blood, guts and unfettered sexual awakening…” Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
“Raw’s cannibal awakening is paired wittily with a very dark college self-discovery journey in which Justine, a teacher’s pet, experiments with drinking and sex as she navigates her sometimes supportive and sometimes competitive relationship with the aggressive Alexia … Raw is filled with surreally Cronenberg-esque peeks at vet training within the brutalist walls of the campus building, from dog dissections to a horse running on a treadmill.” Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed
“Ruben Impens’s photography, featuring a string of eerily spacious wide shots, makes the most of the imposingly odd brutalist architecture of the vets’ college and the make-up, by Laura Ozier and SFX specialist Olivier Afonso, is at times quite hair-raisingly juicy. All in all, a classily savorous fright tartare.” Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
Cast and characters:
- Garance Marillier as Justine
- Ella Rumpf as Alexia
- Rabah Naït Oufella as Adrien
- Laurent Lucas as Father
- Joana Preiss as Mother
- Bouli Lanners as the driver
- Marion Vernoux as a nurse
- Jean-Louis Sbille as the professor