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A can­ni­bal hor­ror that had ’em faint­ing in the aisles.

OUT NOw DVD, Dig­i­tal HD EX­TRAS None

Vets – gen­tle, kindly, car­ing folk, right? You might think oth­er­wise if, like shy teenager Jus­tine (Garance Mar­il­lier), you’d newly ar­rived at the hellish ve­teri­nary col­lege near Liège where hap­less first years are sub­jected to sex­ual harass­ment and vi­ciously hu­mil­i­at­ing haz­ing rit­u­als. Be­ing made to crawl on all fours and get­ting drenched in buck­ets of an­i­mal blood are the least of it.

Jus­tine’s older sis­ter Alexia (Ella Rumpf) is a sopho­more at the col­lege, but that doesn’t help lit­tle sis much. Rather the con­trary, in fact. At an­other event it’s Alexia who pres­sures Jus­tine, a veg­e­tar­ian, into eat­ing raw rab­bit’s kidney. And that’s when things start get­ting se­ri­ously gory.

Jus­tine finds her­self ex­pe­ri­enc­ing strange crav­ings for meat – and not just dead an­i­mal meat, ei­ther. Be­fore long, her re­la­tion­ship with Alexia is de­vel­op­ing in ways that go well be­yond the sis­terly – to say noth­ing of her at­ti­tude to gay roomie Adrien (Rabah Naït Oufella).

Mak­ing her cin­e­matic de­but as writer/di­rec­tor, Ju­lia Du­cour­nau weaves black hu­mour and sub­tle fem­i­nist el­e­ments into her off­beat com­ing-ofage tale, tak­ing the Cro­nen­ber­gian body-hor­ror theme in un­ex­pected di­rec­tions. And the sur­prises keep com­ing – all the way to a pitch-black fi­nale. At the Toronto Film Fes­ti­val screen­ing, paramedics re­port­edly had to take care of faint­ing au­di­ence mem­bers. You have been warned… Philip Kemp

Bring­ing a whole new mean­ing to eat­ing road­kill.

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