Revenge Movie Review
Written by Ali Chappell
Presented by NEON and Shudder
Written and directed by Coralie Fargeat
2017, 108 minutes, Rated R
Released theatrically and on VOD on May 11th, 2018
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz as Jen
Kevin Janssens as Richard
Vincent Colombe as Stan
Guillaume Bouchede as Dimitri
Want to know what my favorite dish is? Revenge, only I like it piping hot. This morning I brewed my morning coffee and sat down for the stylistically appealing revenge thriller, Revenge.
The story of Revenge is not new. It’s basically a new take on I Spit On Your Grave, only less gang rape and just one dude who decided to be a piece of garbage. A girl visits her super rich boyfriend (who is married) for a weekend in the romantic desert. His friends show up for a night of drinking before they go hunting in the in this barren wasteland of heat (I guess, what do you hunt there?). However, when her boyfriend leaves for two hours, she gets raped by one of his friends. They decide to pay her off and send her to Canada but all she wants is to go home. Long story short, he pushes her off a cliff . She lands on a tree, gets impaled and somehow lives and escapes to seek REVENGE on those men. A brilliant cat and mouse game.
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz (too many names) is stunning in this film. She barely has any lines before the trauma, but afterwards she rarely speaks and it’s haunting. If a woman is so mad that she refuses to speak… there is a good chance you are going to die. She is this beautiful fun-loving girl who gets thrown to the wolves and comes out a leader. Men are garbage and she knows how to make them pay. I could not take my eyes off of her the whole time.
The film is stylish and beautifully shot when it comes to those quick-change scenes, the tracking shots, the flashes of color and uncomfortably closeup shots of a rotting apple and ants crawling around. It’s blood-soaked thriller that is for sure. The rape scene itself you can tell was shot by a woman, Coralie Fargeat. It’s barely shown and does not pander to the male gaze at all (unlike the movie I mentioned earlier), which I appreciate. However, I would really like to see a film about women seeking revenge for something other than rape. Men get to seek revenge for everything from losing a wife or stealing a child or ruining a life. They never have rape revenge films. Why can’t a woman lose her husband and seek revenge for him? Why does it always have to be rape? I love that a woman made this film and is taking back the rape revenge genre for women, but why do we even have this genre?
I encourage women to watch this film to feel empowered and inspired and strong. I want men to watch this to show how you can have a rape scene in a movie and it doesn’t have to be graphic. A truly amazing filmmaker can make only showing a hand pressed against a pane of glass more emotional and more painful than showing a violent assault. It takes not only skill but class to achieve this and most male directors don’t have this finesse. Sorry, but you don’t.