Monday, September 17, 2018

Movie Review: "Revenge" (2018)

Director: Coralie Fargeat
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

When the mistress of a French millionaire is raped by one of his friends, he tries to cover it all up by dumping his mistress in the desert and leaving her for dead. Surprisingly, she survives. Now, she is out for revenge on her former lover and his friends.

Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz Revenge 2018 movie
"Women always have to put up a fucking fight." (Image Source)
Never underestimate the survival instincts of an L.A. socialite. "Revenge" is written and directed by Coralie Fargeat and serves as her feature film debut. The story centers on Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz), a socialite from Los Angeles and the mistress of a married French millionaire named Richard (Kevin Janssens). She is accompanying him at his desert vacation home where he and his friends Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouch├Ęde) go on an annual hunting trip. Jen and Richard have a few days on their own, but Stan and Dimitri arrive earlier than expected, cutting their fun a little short. When Richard leaves Jen alone with his friends one morning, Stan rapes her, and instead of coming to her aid, Dimitri knowingly walks away while he does it. After Richard gets back, instead of helping Jen, he tries to cover for Stan. To avoid jail and to shut Jen up, Richard attempts to pay her off. When that doesn't work, he decides the best thing to do is to kill her, so he pushes her off a cliff and leaves her in the desert. When she actually survives, Jen goes on a quest to get even, while the men look to tie up their loose ends, turning their once-fun weekend into a cat and mouse game of survival and revenge.
Matilda Lutz Vincent Colombe Guillaume Bouchede Revenge 2018 movie
"It was supposed to go well." (Image Source)
"Revenge" can best be described as a modern day "I Spit on Your Grave" as seen from the perspective of a woman. The beginning of the film starts innocently enough, but when it all goes south, it's very tough to watch. The false sense of entitlement displayed by Jen's rapist comes through on the screen so damn well that it sickens us. He views her as an object for his sexual gratification. He seems to believe that she owes him sex and is willing to take it by force. "Revenge" is not done there as we also see two other issues rape victims often face. The first is the fact someone had the opportunity to stop this heinous crime before it happened and chose to walk away rather than get involved. Second is that other men are willing to cover for their friends and shell out money and job offers to cover up the incident rather than supporting the victim and to make sure she gets justice and that the perpetrator is punished. It's a lot to digest right at the beginning of a film, but that's what makes it feel so crucial in our current climate. Once the set-up is done, the rest of this film plays out a standard revenge/survival narrative. Just because it is a typical plot doesn't make it any less thrilling, because it sure as hell is. The story is steeped in tension every time Jen closes in on her attackers or vice versa. We found ourselves on the edge of our seats many times while watching this movie. "Revenge" is also incredibly artful and beautifully shot. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous at times. There is a great juxtaposition between the colorful hot pink colors Jen wears on her nails and star earrings and the dirty, dusty desert landscape she must trek through to seize her revenge. There are also some excellent practical effects and makeup work that is disturbingly gory but oh so nifty looking.
Kevin Janssens Revenge movie 2018
"If she didn't die straight away, she's dying elsewhere." (Image Source)
For those who like gritty revenge horror flicks, the aptly named "Revenge" is a must watch. The tension is palpable, the gore is ample, the cinematography is brutal and beautiful, and the commentary pretty twisted in all the right ways.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~93%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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