The rape/revenge sub-genre by definition a difficult pill to swallow; the content is unforgiving, uncompromising and vile. The material may alienate many of its potential viewers, but the subject matter is far too important to be watered down in order to be made more accessible for mainstream audiences. Revenge is no different.
The film’s trailer indulges in its violence and brutality, revealing only as much as is necessary for the viewer to comprehend the story that the director is attempting to convey.
In this case; the male gaze, the belief that women are only sexual objects and the inability of some or most men to recognize that no means no.
One line in particular – near the end of the trailer – I think expertly encapsulates a portion of the social contemporary tethered within, “Women always have to put up a fucking fight!”
The official synopsis from director Coralie Fargeat:
“Three wealthy, middle-aged CEOs – all married family men – get together for their annual hunting game in a desert canyon. It’s a way for them to let off steam and affirm their manhood with guns. But this time, one of them has come along with his young mistress, a sexy Lolita who quickly arouses the interest of the two others… Things get out of hand… Left for dead in the middle of this arid hell, the young woman comes back to life, and the hunting game turns into a ruthless manhunt.”
After numerous views of the awesome trailer, I realized what set Fargeat’s film apart from others in the genre was how gorgeous it looked. The juxtaposition of the golden backdrop of the desert – with the crisp vibrant colors such as the buckets of blood – and celestial blues of the actors eyes make for one of the most beautiful and impressive trailers I’ve seen in quite awhile.
The filmmaker’s commitment to her craft is made even more evident in an interview with the director and the Women & Hollywood blog. Fargeat explained her draw to the story as, “The need to express my universe as a director, with no compromise. And the will to express my concern about feminism in a very symbolic way.”
Revenge is currently rocking it at the Sundance Film Festival, receiving nearly universal critical claim since its January 19th premiere. NEON production company plans to release the film for a limited theatrical run before it’s available to stream on Shudder in early 2018.
Looking for more female-driven horror? Check out our review of Annihilation