Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Girl goes on a nice getaway with her boyfriend, said boyfriend’s mates turn up, he turns out to be a grade-A A-hole and things go south, quick. Cue a montage of girl turning into full-blown badass taking bloodsoaked revenge. It’s been a cinematic staple for decades. So this particular Revenge doesn’t try and reinvent the wheel as much as it tries to douse the wheel in enough blood to have it spinning.
Jen (Matilda Lutz) finds herself in a gorgeous house with her married boyfriend Richard (Kevin Janssens) in the middle of a vast desert. When his friends turn-up unannounced for a hunting trip Jen finds herself in a terrifying situation. Desperate to escape, Jen runs with the lads in hot pursuit and eager to cover their tracks. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, Jen soon realises it’s a case of kill or be killed and so sets out to turn the tables on her would-be hunters.
You would be forgiven for assuming a female filmmaker making a rape-revenge thriller would avoid the genre troupes but instead Coralie Fargeat seems to relish in them. Her camera lingers of Jen in a typically male-gaze, fetishistic manner. Some shots are so gratuitous they could be lifted straight out of a Michael Bay Victoria Secrets commercial. It is all intentional, drawing attention to the female form before abusing it, penetrating it and then giving it enough coats of claret to have the stomach churn.
And churn it does. Fargeat spends the first half of the film seducing us into neon drenched visuals before twisting the knife into arid browns and thick, sticky blood. Throw-in some nightmarish set-pieces and Revenge is a gripping if predictable horror-thriller.
In the lead role Lutz is brilliant. All pin-up girl one minute full-blown Tomb Raider aesthetic the next. Watching her transform from bikini strutting model to scarred avenging angel is a genuine thrill. Watching her exact bloody Revenge on the vomit inducing men in the film is pure delight.
Nothing original but a gorgeous to look at, gut-wrenching bit of gore that does exactly what it says on the tin. Revenge is slickly sick in all the ways you need it to be.