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film review

In Revenge, Matilda Lutz plays Jen, who is left for dead in the desert by her lover and his two friends, but comes back to life to hunt them down.

Rating:

3.5 out of 4 stars
  • Written and directed by Coralie Fargeat
  • Starring: Matilda Lutz
  • Classification: R
  • 108 minutes

As the title of her first film implies, French director Coralie Fargeat likes to get straight to the point. Revenge is a brutal, bloody, exhilarating work that does not even for a moment blink. Taking the bare-bones frame of thousands of cheap and tawdry rape-revenge films, it subverts expectations at the same time it elevates the genre as a whole. It opens on Jen (Matilda Lutz), a deliberately Lolita-aping mistress to a toxic titan of industry (Kevin Janssens), as she frolics around her lover’s grossly modern in-the-middle-of-nowhere mansion. Soon − very soon, as Fargeat barrels through her narrative with speed and precision − Jen is being is tossed off a cliff by her lover and his two sociopathic friends, another disposable toy in their very large sandbox. But at this point, Fargeat upends the tropes audiences have girded themselves for, creating a space where horror and catharsis co-exist in (very bloody) harmony. From beginning to brutal end, this is Fargeat’s uncompromising creation, but Lutz is at the centre of the terror, and acquits herself well as a person never to be dismissed, or crossed, again.

Revenge opens May 11 in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal