The BRWC Review: Prevenge


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“Widow Ruth is seven months pregnant when, believing herself to be guided by her unborn baby, she embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone who stands in her way.”

Since the moment I heard about this film I have been dying to see it, and Alice Lowe’s baby has exceeded all of my expectations. Lowe’s dark humour could be seen in 2012’s Sightseers, which she co-wrote with director Ben Wheatley. As you might expect following on from that, Prevenge contains plenty of filth and blood (not for the faint of heart). However, the audience enjoys many more belly-laughs than I witnessed during Sightseers, perhaps due to Lowe’s penchant for silliness. Lowe is the master of deadpan humour and plays it to full effect in this gory slasher flick.

An impressive debut, Prevenge is one of the best examples of british comedy in recent years and ought to be held in high esteem alongside the likes of Shaun of the Dead (2004). Prevenge is original and innovative in a way that could only come from a woman’s perspective – Lowe wrote and directed it during her own pregnancy. Filming at 7 months brings an air of realism that only adds to the horror. A prosthetic pregnant belly would certainly have diminished this.

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Alice Lowe is a force of nature. On top of Prevenge being a comedy romp, it is also a deeply poignant examination of grief. Prevenge contains so many layers, at once menacing, hilarious and heartbreaking. It picks up on the mundane, ridiculous lives we live, and takes existential pauses that might not hit home the first time round. Its substance will lend itself to repeat viewings.

Scored by Toydrum (former UNKLE band members) the soundtrack is a thing of beauty in itself. It accompanies many dreamy sequences following Ruth in her urban wanderings. It has a foreboding 80s synth feel, similar to that of the Stranger Things soundtrack, coupled with a jangly post-gig tinnitus sound – not dissimilar to Beach House.

Prevenge is a masterpiece, so let’s hope it’s the first of many features with Lowe in the director’s chair.

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Esme Betamax is a writer and illustrator. Often found in the Cube Microplex. Favourites include: I ♡ Huckabees, Where the Buffalo Roam, Harold & Maude, Being John Malkovich, In the Shadow of the Moon