I talked about Raw on the podcast for one of my year’s favorite movies. I’m always drawn to horror about women and women’s bodies becoming monstrous and primal in some way. Those movies capture our anxieties about women’s bodies and their power and, if you’re a woman, your own body.
I think Raw handled this in such a good way because it was written and directed by Julia Ducournau. Raw is about a shy young woman during her first year at veterinary school. Her parents met at the same school, and her cool older sister attends the school. The woman, Justine, is a vegetarian; because she’s a newbie, she has to endure numerous hazing rituals, including eating a raw rabbit liver. It made me concerned that this veterinary school parties on the same level as an irresponsible American frat house. Anyway, as you can imagine, this raw meat really screws her up; her body begins to change in some nasty ways and her cravings for meat and sex intensify as her inhibitions wane.
I don’t think a man could have made a film this same way with the same nuance. While the focus is on Justine, we also see her relationship with her older sister Alexia. We see how their relationship changes and they grow closer and push each other apart at the same time, as siblings often do. I love the intense focus on women and women’s lives, and I thought it was really powerful.
While the reviews sometimes talk about the barf bags that were present in the theaters that showed Raw, I encourage you to see it whether you are a gore fiend or not. It’s a perfect entry to a solid Women in Horror celebration.Follow us on social media and subscribe to the show: