Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Revenge SIFF 2018

HolyCRAP. I was not expecting Revenge to live up to its amazing hype, but it is absolutely worthy of every single bit of praise its getting from critics and fans.

Aspiring actress Jen (Matilda Lutz – who was great in the otherwise dreadful Rings, but is AMAZING here) arrives with her super-rich, married boyfriend at his lush desert estate for some weekend fun times just before he leaves on a hunting trip with his best bros. Unfortunately for Jen, said bros arrive early and immediately assume that because she’s down to party with bf, she’s down to party with ALL of them — especially since she engages in some sexy dance moves with bro #1.

The minute her boyfriend leaves, bro #1 demands Jen have sex with him and when she refuses he insists she “owes it to him,” and then, of course, eventually takes it while bro #2 just … lets it happen. When her boyfriend comes back to a traumatized Jen, his reaction is to silence her rather than shun his bros — and when she doesn’t comply, the men take more drastic measures to make sure she can’t talk. But Jen is much, much stronger than they ever anticipated.

The scene above might sound familiar’ish to genre fans, but this isn’t just your typical vengeance horror flick. Director and writer Coralie Fargeat has taken the ever-looming threat of what toxic masculinity can do and delivered it on screen, turning the woman who’s victimized by it into a badass survivalist killing machine — and she does it all by flipping the male gaze a giant, middle finger.

Ignoring consent? Fuck you. A woman does not owe a man anything, even if she decides to grind against him and flirt.

Staying silent? Fuck YOU. You should’ve thought about that before you decided to take what you wanted without consent.

Women as property? FUCK YOUUUUUUU. Discarding a human being as trash because you view her as a problem is not an option.

Fargeat hits all these points and more in every single, gorgeously filmed, mind-blowing scene. Jen is a revenge heroine for the ages. Smart, resourceful, and determined to show those bros just how wrong they were to underestimate her.

And let’s talk about the gory bits in Revenge for a minute, because they. are. EXQUISITE. Every time something bloody happened, I cringed harder than I ever thought I could, and then celebrated the fact that I was watching something that could take me there. There’s also something so beautiful and absorbing about the way these scenes are shot! As a devoted splatter lover, I was very pleased.

You’ll be hooked right up through the blood-soaked climax, I promise! GO SEE IT.  

{Revenge screens at SIFF Friday, May 18, 11:55pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian}