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Revenge (Movie Review)

Revenge (Movie Review)
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PLOT: Three entrepreneurs gather for their annual hunting trip. One of them brought his mistress, a sexy lolita. Things turn bad and the woman is left for dead. When she gets back to life, the boys' trip turns into a manhunt in the middle of the desert...

REVIEW: Coralie Fargeat's REVENGE was a movie that I was really looking forward to checking out after solid word of mouth began hitting following the film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September. While I'm not normally too into the "rape/revenge" genre, there are a few films that I have a great deal of love for within the subgenre such as Wes Craven's THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. But mostly, I tend to stay away from the subgenre just out of personal preference. That said, what did I think of Coralie Fargeat's REVENGE? Let find out!

Before we begin, let's go ahead and give you guys a quick rundown of the plot of the film. The movie starts with an extremely attractive mistress played by Matilda Lutz living large with her married French millionaire lover (Kevin Janssens) out in the middle of the desert. All is well and good until one day her lover's hunting buddies (Vincent Colombe and Guillaume Bouchède) show up at the door for some good old R&R. Needless to say without spoiling anything, things take a turn for the worst and our poor heroine is raped and left for dead in the hot wasteland that surrounds her in all directions. Game on.

That simple bit of set-up out of the way, Coralie Fargeat's REVENGE is, like most rape-revenge flicks, all about the (no pun intended) execution. And boy does this film nail the execution. From the very opening shot of a helicopter swooping in low over the desert reflected in a pair of sunglass as pop music blares, I knew I was in for more than just your typical run-of-the-mill, down and dirty rape-revenge tale. Fargeat and cinematographer Robrecht Heyvaert keeps the film looking positively stunning from frame one to the ending credits, and that made all the difference to me. This film is vibrant and alive at all times, even when death and judgment are being dealt out in mucho brutal fashions. 

On top of that, the cast on display here all bring their A-game to Fargeat's layered screenplay. The tight script gives our four leads tons to play off and keeps the unexpected character developments coming fast and frequent. Sure the bad guys are rotten to the core, but the actors here play them with such a strange amount of sympathy that - while we never feel s much as a slight, tiny bit sorry for them ounce death comes a-knockin' - they do seem like guys that, you know, exist in the real world and not just cookie-cutter villains. Which all acts to make the film, and the central male rapists/murderers played by Janssens, Colombe, and Bouchède, all the scarier in my eyes.

But the real treat here is Matilda Lutz as Jen. The poor girl just wants to love her boyfriend and move to LA where she can be noticed, but her party-girl intentions are misinterpreted to a brutal and ultimately tragic degree and now she is left high and dry with her guts hanging out and vengeance in her heart. Lutz isn't an actress I was overly familiar with before peeping this new flick (I just went right ahead and skipped RINGS, thank you very much). But that said, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for her as she burns up the screen here in more ways than one. This is a star-making turn if I've ever seen one and don't be surprised if she's the lead in the next Michael Bay movie or some shite. Good job, Matilda!

In the end, Coralie Fargeat's REVENGE is a rape-revenge tale like we have never seen. It's fast, vibrant, violent, colorful, and boasts super-style out the wazoo. Sure the film has all the trappings and beats we've come to expect from the rape-revenge subgenre, but this film does it with more style than a Nicolas Winding Refn movie. And that just might be the best elevator pitch/review for this film. Just imagine of RWF directed a remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and you'll know immediately if this film is for you. I dug it, will you? I'm almost positive you will.

Extra Tidbit: Revenge recently played at What the Fest? and will hit theaters and VOD May 11.
Source: AITH

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