PREVENGE

SFX - - Reviews - Ian Berriman

RE­LEASED OUT NOW! 2016 | 15 | Blu-ray/DVD/ VOD/down­load Di­rec­tor Alice Lowe Cast Alice Lowe, Ruth Jo Hart­ley, Kay­van No­vak The venge­ful killing spree is a well-worn hor­ror path, so it helps to add some nov­elty deaths (à la The­atre Of Blood’s Shake­spearean theme) or a dis­tinc­tive killer. Fe­male avengers aren’t that un­com­mon, but Alice Lowe’s di­rect­ing de­but adds an ex­tra twist, mak­ing pro­tag­o­nist Ruth (Lowe her­self ) heav­ily preg­nant.

Shot while Lowe was with child, Prevenge pro­vides fur­ther ev­i­dence that mak­ing hor­ror less male-de­nom­i­nated ben­e­fits ev­ery­one in the au­di­ence, as fe­male per­spec­tives can freshen up old tropes. The fact that Ruth’s driven to kill by the in­sis­tent voice of her un­born daugh­ter is dis­turb­ing. And in mak­ing mon­strous com­monly felt emo­tions about loss of con­trol, Lowe’s script makes darkly ironic play with the way we dis­cuss mother­hood (“Baby knows best!”). With its blunt-ob­ject bathos and vi­cious stab­bings, it makes jolt­ing gear shifts from hor­ror to com­edy.

All that said, as Ruth works through her shitlist, the film never quite man­ages to over­come the es­sen­tially repet­i­tive, episodic na­ture of this sub­genre.

Ex­tras Lowe’s joined by her ed­i­tor, DOP and pro­ducer for a com­men­tary which goes into en­ter­tain­ingly granular de­tail – down to point­ing out that, say, an out-of-shot fridge was ac­tu­ally a cup­board. You also get an 11-minute Mak­ing Of and the trailer.

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