Greetings from Krampus

This is one of the many reviews that have come out of WorldFest in Houston. Check the WorldFest tag to see them all!

The idea of Krampus, coming from a humble American, is fascinating. An evil Santa Clause? A beast that steals away naughty kids? Why worry about coal when your goddamn life can be on the line?

That is about as much as I really know about the idea. It was flirted with a bit in Rare Exports, we recently had the horror-comedy Krampus as well. It seems Krampus fever is hitting America stronger than ever, and we are eating it up.

Needless to say, I was very excited to be watching Greetings From Krampus, a documentary from the Austrian area, an actual source on their customs and belief of Krampus. How it has grown through the tiny villages and the national phenomenon that has grown for many to have a worthwhile sort of career in it as well.

Krampus
Horny little buggers they are.

It turns out there is a lot I didn’t know about Krampus. Exciting! Did you know there were a lot of creatures like Krampus, that are not Krampus, but come out at the same time as Krampus? Krampus is basically a demonic pet of St. Nicholas. But they also have the Perchten, which are other humanoid esque creatures. And basically, they get weeks of celebration after the Krampus.

But for the most part, these things are celebrated with Krampus Run events. First of all, to get rid of all the past shenanigans where people would dress up and cause problems, the Krampus ideas were outlawed for some time. Only the ruralist villages still did it. But they had official troops who would get together, have rules, to dress up and do appropriate mischief for the holidays, and not just any weirdo in a mask. That way they have some form of checks and balance!

Anyways, basically each villages has a troupe, with some amount of members, to dress up, make their own costumes and masks and rules and funds as a part time job. They travel to these different Runs, where there could be 60-80 different troupes going through a special path while onlookers cheer and get spanked and whatever.

A huge event, many of them all in a few week span, while the rest of the time is spent making sure Krampus awareness happens. Like teaching kids that Krampus isn’t real and to know its a person in there and NOT use it as a tool to frighten kids into behaving.

Overall, there is a lot of useful information in this movie. However, what it lacks on is the lore itself. It does talk about it some, but I thought it would go a lot more into the lore aspects of it. This is basically Krampus Run, the movie. We see so many clips of them, and groups talking about them and their traditions. It is extremely repetitive, especially when it goes back to topics they covered 40 minutes prior.

Cool information, very unique, just not diverse enough and easily boring in the last half hour as you wonder how much longer it will be until finished.

2 out of 4.

Trouble Makers (Xiongdi, bie nao!)

This is one of the many reviews that have come out of WorldFest in Houston. Check the WorldFest tag to see them all!

I am happy to say that I chose Trouble Makers (Xiongdi, bie nao!) at the festival. I was debating between it and another movie, and looking for anything to tell me why I should pick one or the other. The description of a sentence look looked humorous, and the fact that it involved twins that didn´t look like twins just made it seem like a comedy. But my book listed it as a modern drama.

So it was between a Chinese Modern Drama, and a Turkish War Drama, which definitely wasn´t funny.

And I am glad I chose this one, because like I imagined, it was actually a comedy and the genre was just wrong. I just wanted to laugh, damn it.

Bros
Especially laugh at others misfortunes.

Zheng Hao (Xiaopan Gao) is a bit of a bad ass. He is a criminal, he is a thief, he has been to jail, and he doesn´t give a fuck. He only gives one fuck, actually. And that is about his brother, Zheng Zhong (Xianchao You). His twin brother, although they don´t look too similar. Some issues with child birth. Zhong is a bit slower, but he is protective of his smaller brother, the brains of the operation.

Either way, Hao finds himself in hot shit after leaving prison when he immediately causes a lot of destruction and has to pay it back.

The good news is that a local station has an idea for a new reality show! It is about bad guys wanting to become good. If they can turn their lives around, get forgiveness, right their wrongs, and do good things (please!) then they will win a big cash prize. Enough to pay off his new debts, and hey, money yo.

So sure, they will put in the effort to do good things, at least originally just for the money. But then Hao starts to fall for the very pretty worker who is putting on the show, Xia Tian Fan (Shasha Yu). It helps. But being good is hard, and they are going to have to change a lot to get better.

Also starring Sam Lee, Samuel Pang, Sky Li, Xi Chen, Ziming He, and Yu Tian as the Steve Perry looking director.

Bald
I mean he looks like Steve Perry when he has his wig completely on. Bald Steve Perry without it.

Trouble Makers was full of laughs, and they came on hard and strong. Sure, it ended on a serious note. Including an excessively long fight scene, but ended up right in the feels and morally strong.

The director is also the star of this movie, and he has officially directed and been in only one movie, this one. It is an extremely impressive feat for a first timer, and honestly, I feel like a liar just typing that out. It is truly hard to believe.

This is a slap stick movie, with subtle gags, non subtle gags, and sure, just pure misfortune going to our characters. It did have some other interesting aspects, like a scene where four clearly Chinese individuals were in brown make up to act like Indians. And you know what, I am not an expert on Chinese/Indian relationships, but I am sure that is totally fine, although it wouldn´t fly at all in America.

This film has a lot of energy and surprises, tackling its own satire on the reality television fads going across the world strong for some decades now.

3 out of 4.

The Insult

Finally, finally, finally! The final foreign film of the Oscars, The Insult, and yet I could not fit the review before the Oscars aired. I watched it before it aired, I wrote this review before it aired. It might have won! Hell if I know. I hope On Body and Soul wins but it is probably A Fantastic Woman, another solid choice (Edit: And it did).

This film is out of Lebanon, another first for me. I love hitting all of these countries around Asia and the middle east. Watch enough movies and you can get jaded about everything being so stupid in America, and forget that other countries are trying their own thing and telling their own unique stories. Enough stalling, here we go.

Court Drama
Oh, or, maybe, we should wait a second. Ponder the idea of film. Then watch it.

Tony Hanna (Adel Karam) is just a man trying to get by. He works, he lives in a shitty building, he has a wife (Rita Hayek jiiiiu), and she is pregnant, a girl coming along the way. He is Lebanese, and he is Christian, and he has a lot of strife with Palestinians coming over. You know the story. Refugees and immigrants coming over to take their jobs. A common tale everywhere.

Yasser Abdallah Salameh (Kamel El Basha) is a Palestinian construction worker, who does generally the right thing, and what he is told. When he finds out that Tony´s drain is all fucky and not working, he offers to fix it, Tony says no. Racism. Yasser does it anyways. And Tony flips his shit, destroying the work, because he said no. Yasser calls him a name, and thus, the argument begins.

Tony goes over Yasser´s head to make sure he could get an apology. But an apology never came. This led to more arguments, physical assaults, and hard tales. Eventually this lead to a real trial, causing a national sensation as both sides rile up their respective religious groups, bringing up memories of when they were at war with each other. Oh bother.

Also starring Kamel El Basha, Diamond Bou Abboud, Camille Salameh, Christine Choueiri, and Talal Jurdi.

Battleground
How bad can an insult re — holy shit is that a tank or armored vehicle?

I feel like a lot of foreign movies go a bit slower with their dialogue, knowing that they want to appease the American audience who will vote for Best Foreign Picture. If they go too fast, then the subtitles will fly across the screen, and maybe the critics won’t pay enough attention. Or even worse, turn it off. The Insult does not have these qualms at all. It is fast paced dialogue throughout. Arguments, legal and otherwise. The lawyers themselves are fun with their own added twists to the story.

If you are unfamiliar with Lebanon’s history, like most of you must be (hey, me too), then some parts will not make a lot of sense. Why are they so angry? The film references two real life events and how they affected the fictional characters on screen as part of their defenses for their actions, and it added a lot to the film. Hey, I knew nothing about Lebanon history, and now I can say I know a little. Learning is great.

Our main two actors are wonderful. Each have a lot of passion and/or stoicism (That’s right, I said it) throughout the film. They seem like real people. Extreme, real people, but real nonetheless.

The Insult is a swell movie. I didn’t expect a courtroom drama from Best Foreign Films, because most of the times they are just regular dramas. I love being surprised.

3 out of 4.

Loveless

Russia likes to make movies. I have seen quite a bit of Russian films over the years. Not as many as British films, but certainly more than Australian. Probably.

But if you asked me to name any director, I would have just made Russian noises, sneezed, and ran away. I literally know no names. I could only tell you some of the films.

Like Leviathan! It was nominated for Best Foreign Film a few years back. And apparently that director, Andrey Zvyagintsev, is a guy who also directed Loveless. Wow, multiple films in a few years up for Best Foreign Film. That has to be impressive.

And yes, I only accidentally found out this information. I would have easily gone on with my life thinking there was no overlap between the two, except for some fate.

Boy
The same fate that brought us this kid, who really hates his life.

Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin) are a typical couple in Russia. They have a son, Alyosha (Matvey Novikov), and they don’t love each other. Whoops. That might not be normal.

Boris has a good job, as a sales person in some big company. But the CEO is super Orthadox and would only hire people who were married with a family. People in his company don’t get divorced, because then they’d lose their job. These are things that can happen in Russia apparently. He is really putting off this divorce thing, despite the fact that BOTH of them have already moved on physically and emotionally by finding new lovers.

And he made his lover pregnant already.

Either way, with the arguing, the staying at other places, the two of them were not back at their “home” for almost two days, where they eventually found out that their son was not in school and had been gone for a couple of days. Holy shit. Time for panic, time for resources, time for putting their anger behind them. Even if they didn’t want the kid originally, they have to admit they need him now, right? Right?

Also starring Andris Keiss and Marina Vasileva.

Whoa
Time to sensually look out this window, naked, to look for their son.

Loveless is a bleak film. You can tell it from the name. Hell, you can probably tell from the Russian name, Nelybov, without knowing the language. This is not some zany film about a kidnapping that brings the parents back together to find each other and end their strife. Hell no, this is stressful as fuck and does nothing for repairing the damages that had already been done.

Sure, they can tolerate each other more, but that is just for the sake of hoping to find their son alive and not dead in a bag in an ally. It took awhile for the plot to get going, as they spent a lot of time about their relationship with their loves, and their general angst, before the boy disappears. But when he does disappear, it ramps up in various layers of story.

There are few side characters in the volunteer search and rescue unit and they just feel so goddamn professional. Not the police force who can’t help, but a group of people who just know how to find missing kids and have had plenty of training. I hope it is based off of a real group in Russia, because it was astounding. These scenes featured a lot of quick and intense dialogue and made me excited about kidnapped children.

Basically, this is a good movie, and Kidnap is not.

3 out of 4.

A Fantastic Woman

A Fantastic Woman is my third (third!) film reviewed for the upcoming Oscars, nominated for Best Foreign Film.

I first saw the trailer at the Alamo Drafthouse, and was intrigued by the plot line. It also had some good music. I knew I wanted to watch it for reasons other than the Oscars.

And I had honestly no idea going into it what the real main point of the plot was. I didn’t know what social barriers it was crossing, what “firsts” were happening when it came to the nominations, or how much of a big deal this film was. I didn’t even figure it out until 20 or 30 minutes into the movie!

And for that reason, I will discuss some of that information later.

Wind
That intro had a lot of hot air. Bitches love hot air?

Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega) is a lounge singer and a night life enthusiast. She is also in a long term relationship with Orlando (Francisco Reyes), a much older gentleman. He pays for everything, owns their apartment, and is in it for the wild ride.

Their relationship has put strains on Orlando’s family, but he doesn’t care because he finally feels happy. And Marina is not some gold digger waiting for a pay day, she really cares for him as well.

And then Orlando had to go and do that thing that old people do often. He died. Part of it involved falling down some stairs, so he has bruises. Her bringing him to the hospital comes with its own issues and suspicions. And when his family finds out, they quickly turn on her.

They don’t want her in the apartment much longer. They need his vehicle back. They don’t want her to go to the wake or the funeral.

Again, as this occurred, I really assumed it was just because she was younger, maybe a former prostitute or something. But in reality, it is just because she was a transwoman, they assume she is a perverted freak, and think she corrupted their ex lovers, their brother and their friend.

Ohhhhhhh. Oh. Yes. This changes everything.

Also starring Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Saavedra, and Amparo Noguera.

Blue
Now it makes sense why she was feeling extra blue.

When it comes to topical films that will carry a lot of emotion behind them, few people would look to Chile to carry that flag. Especially when it comes to casting a transwoman to play an actual transwoman. A lot of films are getting that criticism, like The Danish Girl, and Anything, which is maybe not even going to come out now. It is certainly a progressive move and one that really works well with this story.

I can also say that the film didn’t go out of its way to promote the fact that Vega was a transwoman, as I made it obvious earlier. It wasn’t using this fact as a sort of shocker, or a gimmick. This is just a story that a lot of people out there might relate to. The fact that is achieved some firsts when it comes to the Oscars is just a cool side note.

Vega is wonderful in this film. She has to carry most of the film on her shoulders, and deal with the fact that everyone basically hates her just for existing. The sighs, the glares, you can tell the character has dealt with it all before and that Vega herself knows how it feels. It is realistic, and it is sad.

Films are still working on getting transmen and transwomen into roles that have nothing to do with the fact that they are trans, but as we get there, this is a great look into just one person and may help people reconsider some of their bigoted views.

3 out of 4.

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children will probably be the last animated film I see from 2017. That is, unless some anime film I missed comes out in April or Summer, all late in the United States.

This too was a foreign animated film, based on a graphic novel. It was originally released in Spain (and Spanish), but the version I watched was dubbed.

I knew nothing about the film going in, except that it might be weird. And unfortunately, that too was an understatement.

Others
Yay animals! Time for a cute film!

This film takes place on an Island, far away from other lands. It had a peaceful animal community, that could talk, sure. Things were good, until factories joined their island. Eventually, the factories have an accident and a big blast rips through their island, killing hundreds, destroying the buildings in that area, creating rubble. No good at all.

This leads the land changed. It makes it sad. It makes it just feel, dead.

The families are now bitter. Kids are being non conformists, animals are fighting, animals are killing. And everyone is just rude.

Poor Birdboy, lost his dad, and can´t even get back to his lighthouse home. There are demons in there, and he hasn´t yet mastered how to fly.

He has friends, namely Dinky, a female mouse, are the only ones who care about him. She cares about him a lot. With the help of a fox and a rabbit, the gang plan to escape off of the island in a boat, to get away from this place of dissidence and sadness. But the island does not want them to leave. Its citizens are too bitter to allow a thing such as hope help anyone.

The four are going to struggle and face their fears, which is unfortunate, because in this case their fears are very real and dangerous parts of society.

Featuring the voices of Barbara Goodson, Jon Avner, Sofia Bryant, Dean Flanagan, Marc Diraison, Wayne Grayson, Yuri Lowenthal, Jake Paque, and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld.

Fly
Learning to fly is also, unfortunately, a dangerous and very consequence heavy fear.

Yeah, Birdboy was weird. It was also terrifying. It was gruesome. It was nothing like I expected.

The only thing I know to compare it to is Heavy Metal, but that is based on my incredibly limited knowledge on this sort of animated film. And Heavy Metal was more sexy. We also had Nerdland recently, that was graphic in its own ways. This one is graphic in that it involves kid animals, in a disgusting world, dealing with entities trying to kill them and kill each other. We have bulging eyes, red veins, abuse, drugs, everything that would negatively affect a society, rolled into one tiny island.

It is definitely not for the light of heart.

It is a sad movie, with not really a happy ending either. Sure, maybe some hope is derived from it, but it is just a movie that will tear at your heart. Not like a romance, but like a horror, tearing at your heart.

And also, it is very, very confusing. I assumed the graphic novel tells the story a bit better. But there are sequences in this movie out of order, not a lot of exposition, and when I left I just felt confused. I did Wikipedia the plot outline, which is thankfully very detailed. I recognized some events and some scenes and could imagine them all working together, but it is not very easy to do that on your first viewing.

I appreciate that Birdboy is incredibly dark. I appreciate that the artistic style really draws you in and spits you out. I also appreciate that it tried to do something new. But in the end, it was not a very coherent plot, hard to follow, and left me feeling more empty than anything at the end.

2 out of 4.

On Body and Soul

What comes from Hungary? Some lame jokes, some World War I starters, and that is about all I can think of from my America centrist point of view.

So hey, I was excited for them just for having a film nominated for Best Foreign Film. Dozens of countries every year submit a film and only five are ever chosen, and only one wins. If Hungary has a rich film history, I am unfortunately unaware of it. If I have reviewed a Hungarian film before, then I totally forgot about it (just checked, shit, they had Son of Saul and White God. Totally forgot which country. Good job, Hungary!).

And now they have On Body and Soul. And I am thankful for Netflix for buying this film up so that lame uncultured swine like myself can watch it before the Oscars, and not five months after the fact.

Sleep
This is the kinky way Hungarians sleep together.

Taking place in some in Hungary, I have to assume, we have a slaughterhouse. They do good work there. Or at least, they kill cows and sell that meat for money. People have jobs, people are not sad.

Endre (Géza Morcsányi) is the CFO of the place, and is pretty complacent with his life. He is old, he is stagnant, he has a small group of friends. And a new girl starts to work there, much younger. Her name is Mária (Alexandra Borbély) and she is the quality inspector. She checks the cows and makes sure they have the appropriate grade rankings based on, you know, cow stuff.

Endre tries to talk to her, but she is off putting. Mária is very autistic, including a perfect memory and loves precision, so she makes some people upset when she is giving cows a lower grade than normal for technically correct reasons.

After an event occurs at the shop, a psychiatrist (Réka Tenki) is brought in to ask everyone questions to determine who the most likely culprit is. She is the first to find out that Endre and Mária are sharing a dream, where they are deer in a wintry forest. This connection is brought up to them, and it is up to them to figure out what to do with this knowledge, if anything.

Deer
You know, just being a deer, doing deer stuff.

On Body and Soul was a very touching film. Not physically touching, given how much Mária hated physical contact (note: I really enjoyed the mashed potatoes imagery). Just emotionally touching. Two lost souls who are very different, who find each other in an extraordinary way.

Not that I am implying there is a happy ending, just that technically, they find each other.

The Endre character is interesting in that he is supposed to be a normalish guy. A guy who has just been around for a loooong time and now is just drifting peacefully into retirement or death or something. I found at various points in the film that I hated him and found him endearing.

Mária is the real star though, and of course, Borbély. This is not some ¨hey look at the weirdo, being all autistic¨ sort of film, and it does not feel like it is making fun of people on the spectrum. We get to see her with a lot of struggles and a lot of pain. Seriously, a ton of pain. We get to see her grow, or attempt to grow, as she determines if she even can try to love another person.

There are some gross moments, there are some graphic moments (it is a slaughterhouse after all). But in the end, I still really enjoyed it the same.

3 out of 4.

Early Man

By all means, tell me that the movie is done by the people who did Wallace and Gromit. Yes I will watch it every time. I won’t always like it, but I respect it enough to give it the shot it deserves. It’s very weird, very British shot.

So why not Early Man, which is going to combine cave man jokes with very British football jokes. Ones I probably wont even fully understand.

And the best news about it is that the cast only has 3 or 4 recognizable names. They are giving roles to actual voice actors, instead of just laying us down with 40 celebrities, some which probably would have only had five or so lines.

Training
Lava is always a nice bonus, in any movie, regardless of context.

A long time ago, dinosaurs! Also this movie is saying cave people. Let’s let it slide. Meteor wipes them all out, not the people somehow. They find the hot meteor left over that created a giant valley, where it is really hot, so they decide to kick it to each other. They invent the game of football, get really happy, and live their lives in the valley.

Now, some time later, we can meet our new crew of cave people. They don’t know soccer anymore, they are relatively stupid as well. Dug (Eddie Redmayne) is young and a thinker, but the rest of the crew are content. They are content until some mammoths with armor come trampling in, as the rest of the world has decided to stop by and say hello. They are stone age cave people meeting for the first time a bronze age civilization, who is intent on mining out their secret valley for minerals, and letting them die.

Thanks to Dug who infiltrates their society, he learns that they play this game of football on the grand, coliseum like scale. This is their main religion! The only way they can probably get out of their jam and get their home back is by challenging their champions to a game. Dug saw these football paintings on their walls, but they never knew what it meant. But if their ancestors played the game, then they probably can figure it out as well!

Also starring Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, Richard Ayoade, Miriam Margolyes, Nick Park, Rob Brydon, Johnny Vegas, Selina Griffiths, Simon Greenall, Gina Yashere, and Kayvan Novak.

Soccer
With that much armor, this thing looks a lot more like…football, than football.

Early Man is one of those basic “ragtag team of misfits pull together to do a sport thing better than professionals, due to teamwork, friendship, and shenanigans!” You know the kind. Despite being the type of thing that we have seen before, Early Man still manages to bring something new to the table.

It has a lot of tiny jokes throughout, a lot of puns they worked towards. And yes, there are some modern British football jokes that mostly would have flown over my head. But I got one or two.

The characters are likable. The caveman crew has a lot of complete characters, who have their individual good jokes or moments to shine. I don’t feel like we only have a few supporting people. The whole crew got to feel supporting, always a great thing in a movie like this.

This is not going to be a game changing animated film. But it is still really well done, at points clever, and tells a fun story. Hell, even the final soccer match seems to deviate away from the norm for these sorts of things. Still some surprised out there for everyone.

3 out of 4.

Faces Places

The year of 2017 wasn’t great for me and watching documentaries. I didn’t do it as often as I used to (as I used to force one a week for review). I decided I needed them to come more naturally, to see what I wanted, what looked interesting, and sure, some that didn’t look interesting.

But still, I didn’t see too many. So I had been keeping track of the movies on the Shortlist for Oscars Best Documentary. I saw titles that seemed interesting and plots that I couldn’t wait to see. I was trying to guess what might be the top five picked.

And then Faces Places was picked. It was one of the ones on the shortlist that I just did not expect overall. The documentary just felt like something that could be a one season show on The Travel Channel, and not something that might change the world, like some of the titles on the list.

Doc
Yep, I see many faces and…wait, what’s that in the background?
Oh yeah, that’s a place.

Agnès Varda is a really old woman, but a famed director in her country of origin. She has directed many films and has had a wonderful, personal career. JR is a photographer, much younger, and a bit eccentric. The two met and decided to work together on this documentary project.

Basically, they were going to travel the French countryside, small villages and towns, meet people, hear their stories, and enhance their community through their faces. They drove around in a vehicle with a large camera on the side. You could go in, get your picture, and a large picture would print out that you could put somewhere.

They decorated the sides of homes, monuments, to honor individuals and make unique artwork for the folks who lived there.

And it was cute, it had some interesting moments, and overall, it just felt…pointless. I am not saying there is no point to bring niceness to the world. It is just that there are so many documentaries that bringing up untold stories, important political and social events, that this one just feels off in its own little happy world.

I wish the world didn’t have so much fucked up shit in it. And really, the rating comes from these two individuals who just wanted to make people happy and increase their own happiness. The relevance and importance of the documentary is just less than others.

Faces Places will probably be on Netflix, eventually. And it isn’t even one you can sort of put on and half ignore to just see moments of happy, given the subtitles.

I can’t imagine this one winning anything. I hope I still get around to watching Kedi.

2 out of 4.

Raw

2017 was a great year for horror. It exceeded my generally low expectations for the genre. It exceeded in a way that is inverse to the way that animation was a disappointment.

So I was a bit suspect of finding another good horror film after all the rest. But Raw looked really good despite knowing very little about it. I knew it would make me uncomfortable, it would have gore, and has shit ton of blood.

Heck, I didn’t even know it was a French film until it started and I got blasted with subtitles. Adding the foreign element is what made me realize early on that maybe it could also be great, because I knew America must have reached its peak.

Blood
There hasn’t been this much blood in a film since Army of Darkness. Which is arguably British.

Justine (Garance Marillier) comes from a very uppity family who expect good things out of her. She just got accepted into veternarian school and is excited about making the world a better place for animals. Her older sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf) has already been there for a year and will help her get situated. Oh, and her entire family is vegetarian, they have been her whole life, and that is obviously relevant to the plot.

Now in France, I am led to believe that getting into a specialized school like this one is sort of like getting into a fraternity in America. They have hazing for the new recruits and a rush week, but it isn’t really optional since it is just everyone in the school. They have to submit, or else. As part of the submission, they get dumped with animal blood before important photos and are also forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys as part of their initiation.

So Justine doesn’t want to do that, she has NEVER eaten meat, and she doesn’t want to start now. She tries to get her sister’s help, but the sister denies their vegetarian upbringing and eats a kidney, so Justine has to as well. This does not go well, as she immediately feels sick. Hell, she ends up getting some sort of food allergy symptoms as well from it. No good.

And yet, his opens up something in Justine. She starts to crave meat, but made a big deal about being a vegetarian as well. So her gay roommate (Rabah Nait Oufella) tries to help her sneak this new obsession without others noticing. But it isn’t enough. Justine is constantly hungry, constantly looking for more and more. And you know where this obsession is leading.

Also starring Laurent Lucas, Joana Preiss, and Jean-Louis Sbille.

Face
Keep working on the Andrew W.K. cosplay little girl.

(Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it) Raw felt like a very authentic (whew) tale about, well, some cannibalism. Not a lot of cannibalism, just some. It had human emotions, it had great realistic actions from unrealistic situations, and the whole thing just felt raw. Fuck, I made the pun. That didn’t last long at all.

But seriously. I didn’t even know Raw was French when I went to see it. I have heard it hyped for a half a year and just assumed another indie horror film that gets rave reviews. It is good to see another country coming up strong with new ideas.

Raw has a some gross scenes and they just happen sometimes so unexpectedly it will take you by surprise. It doesn’t shy away from sexuality and hazing, normal college experiences, it just adds some extra human elements. Again, please understand I am referring to the eating of humans.

Raw is gross, it is creepy, it is well made, and yes, it is raw.

3 out of 4.

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