KILLING FOR TWO

Alice Lowe is evis­cer­at­ing and ex­pect­ing in thriller Pre­venge

Empire (UK) - - PREVIEW - WORDS OWEN WIL­LIAMS

IT’S NOVEM­BER 2015, and the peace of a pre­na­tal yoga class at al­ter­na­tive Lon­don health cen­tre Clerken­well­be­ing has just been shat­tered by a blood-cur­dling scream. Ev­ery­one in the room jumps, for real. Alice Lowe — the screamer — sits up de­light­edly and calls cut. She does a sec­ond take. Ev­ery­one jumps that time, too.

Preg­nancy for most work­ing women means ma­ter­nity leave. Not for Lowe. Rather than take time out from her ca­reer, the Sight­seers star de­cided to chan­nel her child-bear­ing ex­pe­ri­ence into writ­ing, di­rect­ing and star­ring in Pre­venge. “There’s never a right time to direct your first fea­ture,” she grins. “It’s a lot like hav­ing a baby in that way.”

A vi­o­lent comedy about a rage-fu­elled, baby-bumped woman with a death list — Kill

Um­bil­i­cal, if you will — Pre­venge is as dis­turb­ing as it sounds. “You’re ba­si­cally work­ing out why this woman’s do­ing what she’s do­ing,” Lowe ex­plains. “You don’t know who the baby’s fa­ther is, so that’s an­other mys­tery that gets un­rav­elled.” Ruth be­lieves her foe­tus is prompt­ing her to mur­der — and maybe it re­ally is. “It’s a psy­che­delic Jekyll and Hyde mys­tery,” Lowe says, “where Hyde is an un­born baby.” Lowe evokes Dead Man’s Shoes and

Sight­seers as ex­am­ples of films with a sim­i­lar hor­ror/hu­mour mix and im­pro­vi­sa­tional style. Later in the day, the guer­rilla crew grab footage on the street out­side: Lowe gets some strange looks from passers-by as she walks, trance-like, wav­ing her arms around. “I don’t have time to feel em­bar­rassed!” she laughs.

She doesn’t, in fact, have time for much. Af­ter the shoot wraps, Lowe will take a break for the small mat­ter of de­liv­er­ing her ac­tual baby, then head into the edit­ing room to get

Pre­venge ready. “As an ac­tress you stress about hav­ing a baby be­cause you’re wor­ried you’ll never work again,” she says. Hav­ing not stopped yet, it doesn’t seem like that’ll be a prob­lem for her.

Clock­wise from

above: Alice Lowe puts ’em up for Gemma Whe­lan’s Len; From one as­sas­sin to an­other — Ruth chan­nels

Hero’s Fly­ing Snow; The ex­pec­tant mother ex­pe­ri­ences some un­usual preg­nancy crav­ings; Lowe’s Ruth and her un­born child are armed and ready for their next vic­tim.

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