Prevenge – Review *****

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Motherhood is a wonderful thing, or so they say –  and so it should come as no surprise that  Alice Lowe’s Prevenge is a wonderful film. It’s about pregnancy, and all the little things that come with it – like killing. Yes, this is a slasher/horror/dark comedy addition to the British film scene, which hasn’t seen something original since Shaun of the Dead, written, directed and starred by the woman who co-wrote Sightseers and was recently pregnant. How’s that for direct inspiration?

Ruth (Alice Lowe) is a mom-to-be on a mission: to find and kill the other 5 people involved in the tragic weekend climbing accident that killed her partner (and baby’s father). Guiding her is the voice of her unborn child – after all, baby knows best. As Ruth gets better and better at killing, – while attending regular consultations with her midwife – she gets to her final target, the climbing instructor. But is Ruth really taking revenge on the death of the only person that ever loved her, or is there something darker underneath?

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Dark comedies aren’t for everyone, and if the synopsis and trailer haven’t given it away yet, be thus warned: Prevenge is as dark as they come. Lowe’s Ruth is on pair with other famous women revenge-hungry protagonists, from The Bride in Kill Bill to Alex in Fatal Attraction, and fortunately for us, gore lovers in the audience, her killings are up there with Jennifer’s in I Spit On Your Grave. Her smarts and calm nature – even when things start to go wrong – are only matched by her disdain of sporty people and, well, midwives. The script is full of extremely quotable lines and never disappoints, not even in the ending, and time flies by as we the audience can’t believe we’re having so much fun. Who doesn’t like seeing evil people having their throats cut? After all, if everyone’s evil – particularly guys called Josh – Ruth is doing the world a favour.

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It’s Lowe’s experience with low-budget filmmaking that shines through Prevenge, as the film’s unpolished energy, added to such an unusual story, feels incredibly refreshing, and proves that there is more to cinema than pretty, carefully staged shots. The soundtrack – by Pablo Clements, James Griffith and Toydrum – fits the movie like a glove (think Taxi Driver level), and the editing can go from “british council estate drama” to “german expressionism” in a matter of seconds, thanks to the careful hands of Matteo Bini.

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If you ever wondered what happens to a woman’s body when nature takes over, Prevenge is the film to check. Not exactly the best choice for upcoming Valentine’s Day, though, unless you’re lucky enough to date someone with a wicked sense of humour.

Prevenge will be in UK cinemas from 10th February 2017 

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.