April 16, 2017

Shudder Review: Prevenge (2017)

"Pre-partum depression is real. And deadly."

Shudder keeps the exclusive movies coming with this little ditty about a pregnant woman whose unborn baby instructs her to kill people because they're selfish pigs.

Which many people really are, at least to a point, but do they deserve to die so horribly just because they're out for themselves, and don't care about anyone else?

Well, maybe so.

Recently-widowed Ruth is eight months pregnant, and she's not happy at all. Not only is she about to become a mother, but she's got to go it alone now, and all of the people that she encounters lately are scumbags. Lucky for her, her unborn baby understands her pain, and together they decide to punish the wicked. Because it talks to her from the womb, telling her to kill people.

There's the pet shop owner who wants Ruth to touch his snake; the slovenly basement dwelling DJ who thinks that she's an easy score; the stuffy HR chick who with poor leadership skills; and even some nice people who didn't really have it coming. And of course, there's the rock climbing instructor who killed her husband. He's #1 on her list.

So yeah, Ruth's a bit wonky, but who are we to tell a woman who she can and can't indiscriminately kill in this day and age? We'd get shamed on Twitter if we did.

Conceived while writer/director/actress Alice Lowe was six months pregnant, shot in 11 days, and completely finished from inception to final print in only two months, Prevenge is a small, British Indie film that delivered the funny and disturbing goods. It's an impressive first behind-the-camera effort for Lowe, who has been a great comedic actress for many years, but it's really her work in front of the camera that anchors the thing. She gives one hell of a performance here, going from sympathetic, to darkly funny, to terrifying with ease. She's a bit of a revelation.

I'm really glad that Prevenge wasn't used as a vehicle to bash men, because if I hear one more would-be feminist scream about "The Patriarchy" or "Rape Culture" like everyone with a penis is some sort of evil, twisted ghoul who feeds on the souls of women for kicks, I'm going to scream. I get that some men are pieces of shit, and many others treat women like objects and such, but that sort of irrational generalization is no different than men saying that all women are bitches or whores, which makes that whole "cause" come off as hypocritical to me.

No, Alice Lowe's story is about a woman who's had a bit of a mental break whilst pregnant, which coupled with some nasty pre-partum depression, turns dangerous for the men (and women, refreshingly) whom she encounters. It's a story about the fears of burgeoning motherhood, with the extra weight of being a widow only adding to the pressure of such a massive life change. Ruth, to use the director's description, is "untethered", and though we may fear her, and even dislike her, her journey is a compelling, and an oddly sympathetic one. And honestly, we're fine with some horrible people pay the price for crossing her path at the wrong time. Makes for a good movie.

It would have been cool though if the baby's voice were real, and not just a shard of Ruth's broken psyche, like in the French classic, Baby Blood (read the review HERE, if you want some more truly disturbing mother-fetus  killing spree fun.) It definitely gave off the same creepy vibe.

Ruth slits throats and even cuts off a penis, and it gets pretty bloody and graphic. 

Well, there is a penis...

"I think nature's a bit of a cunt though, don't you?"
"Look at this lot, out on the rape."

Prevenge is as twistedly humorous as it is disturbing, and it's a really solid directorial debut for Alice Lowe, especially given how quickly the movie was made. If you're up for a good pregnancy-fueled revenge flick that avoids a lot of the trappings that other female revenge flicks like it tend to get caught up in, then you'll probably get a kick out of this one.

Prevenge is streaming right now, exclusively on Shudder. You can stream it via Amazon below.


What a lovely lass.

1 comment :

  1. I think you missed the point of her killing the people who were together on a trip with her partner and cut her partner's rope in order do survive. Sadly, at this time, Ruth found out about her pregnancy and the hormones didn't help but fueled her anger.

    There was a main flaw I heavily rolled eyes at. If people who knew each other die one after another and the instructor is smart enough to realize that she was pissed, how could it be that the police has never been involved?