East Coast Premiere
2017 • France • 108 min.
Director: Coralie Fargeat
Screenwriter: Coralie Fargeat
Cast: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe
March 24, 2018 @ 9:30 pm
Three misogynistic hunters receive a brutal lesson in consent when their prey becomes predator in this Grand Guignol-infused, convention-
flipping monomythic desert tale of rebirth and survival.
A rich playboy brings his Lolita-esque plaything, Jen, on a secluded weekend getaway. Things get complicated as his desert oasis is double-booked for a romantic tryst and guys’ hunting excursion. Making the best of an awkward situation, the four wine and dine into the twilight hours while engaging in some lightly-frisky, post-feast frivolity.
Taking advantage of playboy’s brief absence the next morning, one of the hunting buddies wants to pick up where (he thought) things left off the previous night. When Jen refuses his advances – making clear the distinction between suggestive fun and overt invitation – male toxicity rears its horrifyingly entitled head, culminating in vengeance-seeking violation.
When Jen appeals to her lover upon his return, his offer of cold compensation over comfort sets into motion a series of escalating events that places her in the crosshairs of the most dangerous game. In her epic fight for survival, Jen’s heroine’s journey simultaneously admonishes her pursuers and viewers of the film alike for any dismissals of her as a provocative, lollipop-sucking airhead who was “asking for it.”
Writer/director Coraline Fargeat’s revisionist revenge saga debut is so powerful and stylish that even the most hardcore fans of extreme horror will find themselves begging to tap out. Both a scathing treatise on the roles foisted upon women and a testament to the enduring strength of the human will, Revenge is an outrageous, over-the-top, bloody, brilliant – and timely – recalibration of a tired subgenre from a feminine perspective.
– Nicole McControversy