Director: Alice lowe
Starring: Alice Lowe,Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie,Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Kayvan Novak. UK. 1h 28m
Alice Lowe returns after the brilliant collaboration with cult director Ben Wheatley in their darkly entertaining Sightseers (2012). She returns as an equally unusual character but this one is on a course of revenge with her unborn baby. Lowe might just have backed herself into a typecasted corner and to be truthful it’s okay, as she does this disturbing comedy thing way to well and we honestly need a lot more of her thing in the unpredictable British market where we like to be on the edge of wrongness.
So; Ruth (Lowe) is not in a happy place, after the tragic accidental death of her partner in a freak climbing accident she blames the instructor but has to deal with her pregnant body and mind and the killer will of her unborn child whos tiny voice instructs Ruth to slash and seek revenge on all the people who have pissed her off, avoid her or perve over her.
There are so many willing but unaware victims who might as well have appeared on screen with an actual target on their heads, from the obnoxious woman from HR (Dickie) who talks down to Ruth and refuses her maternity leave, a perverted DJ Dan (Davis) who’s just interesting in fanny but not what might be coming out of it anytime soon, these are some of the easy targets, but the prize is the man she blames for the loss of her partner, the big headed climbing instructor who denies any liability for the death, Tom (Novak) who is actually pretty straight for this role.
Ruth’s character spends much of the film trying to work out what’s going on, stumbling from one murder to the next, seemingly going about her life until the tiny creepy voice of her unborn daughter twists her into dispatching those who have offended her and even critiquing her techniques and showing her where improvements can be made.
It’s not an emotionally driven piece, it’s only in it for the surreal scenarios that seemed to have off put some viewers but I found highly interesting insights into the mind of a talented madwoman, Lowe really captured some shocking murders and offset them with mundane daily chores, in her murder of the sleazy DJ, she seamlessly eviscerates him, a loose ball slipping from his hands, but the giant oaf lives with his mother, luckily she has dementia so Lowe helps her with the laundry with the body of her son chilling on the floor.
It’s certainly something new, and as debut film it’s so stylish and original, even down to the smooth electro soundtrack which is available on Bandcamp (https://invada.bandcamp.com/album/prevenge-original-soundtrack) it’s slow and sexy vibes suit the film especially in the later parts where Lowe head out on Halloween night in a striking red dress and painted face, almost floating amongst the party goers, a sweet as red riding hood and as deadly as the wolf.
It’s never really clear if we’re supposed to sympathise with Lowe, some found it hard as she is a cold blooded killer but it’s just a film and she’s an incredible slapstick heroine.
R: Sightseers (2012)
L: Killer Kids, Demonic Babies