TIFF 2017: Revenge Is Hotter Than Hell (And Bloodier, Too)

Revenge TIFF

Who’s Behind It

This is writer/director Coralie Fargeat’s first feature film.

Who’s In It

Matilda Lutz (Rings), Kevin Janssens.

Who’ll Love It

Anyone who’s wished for bloody, gory justice and sweet revenge served up hot (but, hopefully, had the good sense not to act on it).

What’s It About

Jen (Lutz) and her rich, good-looking (married—oops) boyfriend (Janssens) are on a weekend escape that, at the outset, looks like it holds the promise of hot, steamy desert romance. All that goes straight to actual hell when two of his hunting buds show up looking to bag a trophy. Unfortunately for Jen, deer or whatever don’t seem to be in season, so they stalk and assault her instead. That was their big first mistake. The second one comes when they try to cover up what they’ve done and Jen flips the narrative on its head, becoming the hunter herself. Look out, boys.

Why You Should See It

Besides the inherent satisfaction a solid, super-violent vengeance flick holds for many horror fans, there’s so much more to appreciate in Fargeat’s film. The director brings an original perspective to this crowded genre by letting the camera linger but lovingly over tanned male bodies (while they’re still breathing) instead of fetishinzing her female protagonist. Fargeat employs fluid, almost sensual cinematography in her desert setting, intensifying the sense of confusion and horrified detachment felt by both the protagonist and the audience. The hot, nightmarish atmosphere will have you sweating in your seat. It’s a stylish piece of cinema.

When You Can See It

Revenge premiered Sunday, September 10 as part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness program. Catch it again Monday, September 11 at 3:45PM (Scotiabank); Saturday, September 16 at 3:30PM (Scotiabank). Tickets available here.