Review by Kelly
Never take your mistress on an annual guys' getaway, especially one devoted to hunting - a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.
Revenge has had the horror community buzzing since it was released in 2017. They have fallen in love with it. Written and directed by Coralie Fargeat, it is refreshing to have a rape/revenge movie created by a woman as they do have a different vision in playing out the narrative. This intense rape/revenge movie is a visceral sight to be seen.
A married man (Richard) brings his mistress (Jen) to his hunting house (this huge, modern style house in the desert that can really only be reached by air…) for a visit. His hunting buddies come a day early and they have a fun night of drinking and dancing. The next day, Richard leaves to run errands and the one man decides that because Jen sexy danced with him the night before as a part of the fun and festivities, she now owes him sex. She is obviously uncomfortable and he decides to take what he thinks he deserves. The other man walks in but does nothing and goes out for a swim. The lack of empathy, complacency and the devaluing of her because she is just a “mistress” is evident. The men infantilize her and Richard, after hearing about the rape, essentially claims that she was asking for it since she is so sexy. Ugh. I believe that the multiple shots of her ass and lingering shots on her body are used to depict how the men in the movie see her, not purely for the sake of sexualizing her. However, we do get shots of naked men - even penis shots! Thank goodness for equality…
This movie really pushes the boundaries of reality; you have to completely suspend your disbelief because Jen experiences what really should be a life-ending injury. She doesn’t die and starts her quest for revenge. Carol Clover, writer of Men, Women and Chainsaws, has argued that these female avengers in rape/revenge movies are not believable as it is highly unlikely that women would suddenly take up guns, hunting, stalking, etc. However, this movie actually shows the realism in Jen’s ability to take back her power. This is seen when she shoots a gun for the first time and feels the recoil of it causing her to fall over. She is never fully comfortable using it. Then there is the cauterizing of her wound… This movie, once you suspend your disbelief, is pure entertainment. It’s beautifully and artfully shot with synthwave music as the soundtrack. It’s hella bloody and gory - much more so than I ever thought it would be. It’s got a few really cringe worthy shots containing a wounded foot and a close up of a mouth chewing. There are so many squishy sound effects! The pacing was a bit slow and the movie could have been tighter though it was still very enjoyable to watch. The rape itself isn’t shown, though heard, and the movie focuses more on the revenge, which is a nice change in pace. It also looks and acts like a 70s exploitation movie with a bigger budget.
If you enjoy rape/revenge tales, action movies, or are a straight up gore hound, this movie would definitely be recommended for you. It’s got something for everyone!