Prevenge is darkly funny, strikingly tragic and bloody gory.
Prevenge is a horror comedy slasher like you have never seen before. It is packed with dark wry humor and lots of gore and blood, to create a fantastic and original slasher. But it also has something to say and has some social commentary about pregnancy shaming, depression, grief, and it turns out to be a very tragic and sad story. The way these different genres are combined into a compelling, intriguing and yet very hilarious film is most impressive. It always keeps the balance between laughs, gore and tragedy perfectly. If you are looking for a very unconventional film with very dark humor and serious themes, then this is a must-see.
Extra fun and amazing is that Alice Lowe really was pregnant at the time of filming and when the baby was born in the film, it’s her own daughter, of only ten days old. How cute is that.
Ruth is pregnant but there is something off with her pregnancy. Her unborn baby talks to her and compels her to kill people. Like the midwife said: baby knows best and knows what to do. So Ruth is set on a killing spree, encouraged by her cheeky unborn baby girl.
Why you should watch it
The simple premise alone is wonderfully original and fun. But there is much more to it than just a pregnant woman on a rampage, killing seemingly random people. While it starts off right away with a brutal kill, it slowly becomes apparent that not only her unborn daughter is telling her to kill, but that there is a far more tragic reason behind these violent acts. Although this reason doesn’t in any way justify her actions, it does make us understand her, without killing the comedy.
This tragedy that preceded the killing spree, is the main plot, the unraveling of the mystery behind the kills. But that doesn’t make the kills any less gory and fun. Alice Lowe knows how to walk this fine line between tragedy and comedy without becoming cheesy or too seriously, or turning the laughs into something too sinister. It’s brilliantly done.
The way she seeks out her victims under false pretenses is greatly done and all have something to do with being pregnant or kids. This connects the overall theme and the kills even better. It’s very smartly done and creates an opportunity to add some social commentary in a comical way to show how the world and people treat pregnant women. This is done in just the right way, without pointing a finger or becoming preachy.
By keeping the focus on the comedy and horror, the social commentary and the tragedy, the heavy themes are perfectly intertwined with the story and send out just the right message. It has very well chosen music that sometimes is melancholic and sometimes it’s electronic dreamlike or upbeat. It perfectly reflects Ruth emotions. So does the cinematography and the whole design of the film. Especially when it’s Halloween and she’s up for the last kill and disguises herself as a sort of angel of death. It befits the story and themes behind it.
The one who conveys a message in the most fun way is unborn baby. Ruth talks with the baby, she can hear her voice and so can we. And it’s a magnificent voice. It’s an innocent voice of a little girl, but who talks in an adult and rather sinister way with adult words, is rather foulmouthed and out for some good kills. These conversations are the cherry on the pie and just perfect.
The best thing about the film and the smart thing is that Ruth is a real person, who you can relate to unto certain levels, even during the amateurish kills and certainly after her breakdown. The people she kills are also very human with their flaws and narrow-mindedness. They aren’t necessarily (un)likable people, but real people, although it still is rather fun when she slaughters some of them.
Prevenge isn’t your average revenge story. It’s not about victims and killers, but about grief and depression and real persons. It is entertaining, it’s hilariously funny, it’s shocking and deeply moving. It’s a daring mix and by handling it in such a wry dark humorous way it becomes something even more unconventional.
My favorite part
The conversations between Ruth and her unborn daughter were excellent and the kills were brilliantly amateurish while baby comments sarcastically how “that went well”. It’s so fun. The dog flap scene was a brilliant one and the fight with the boxing gloves was a great fun idea. The make-up scene for Halloween and the scenes where she is looking for her last kill, while she passes all the crazy people on the street and her final breakdown was a moment of pure devastation and her loneliness and abhorrence of the world was so tangible it was very impressive.
Also the ending isn’t at all what you expect, that last nice little twist was just what made the film even greater. I really enjoyed this movie, not only for it’s originality and daring choices, but it was a very well-crafted and top notch film overall.
Fun factor: ★★★★☆
Drama factor: ★★★★☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆
Originality factor: ★★★★★
Cast and crew
Prevenge is directed and written by Alice Lowe. It stars Alice Lowe (Ruth), Jo Hartey (midwife), Gemma Whelan (Len), Kate Dickie (Ella), Kayvan Novak (Tom), Tom Davis (DJ Dan), Leila Hoffman (Dan’s mum), Dan Renton Skinner (Mr Zabek), Mike Wozniak (Josh), Tom Meeten (Zac), Eileen Davies (Jill) and Della Moon Synnott (Baby).
Duration: 87 minutes. Music: Toydrum, James Griffith, Pablo Clements. Cinematography: Ryan Eddleston. Edited by: Matteo Bini. Produced by: Vaughan Sivell, Jennifer Handorf, Will Kane. Production companies: Western Edge Pictures, Gentler Group. Film Cymru Wales. Distributed by: Kaleidoscope Entertainment.