‘Prevenge’ is the directorial debut from English actress Alice Lowe. The film focuses on Lowe’s character, Ruth. She is a murderous mother to be in what could be an ‘American Psycho’ & ‘The Voices’ mash up. Also picking up a writing credit here, did Lowe take on too much or has she managed to pull off a trio of impressive feats?
At first there doesn’t seem to be much to the film other than shock value content. ‘Prevenge’ is overflowing with blood and gore, certainly not one for squeamish viewers. This type of storytelling is always gripping as it is so alarming. However, spread over a whole film it can become tiresome. Thankfully though as the film progresses the narrative really develops well. It’s clear to see that Lowe has a talent for writing. She gives enough for the audience to work out what is happening without spelling it out for them in a patronising manner. Included in her writing was some brutally dark comedy. This almost always lands and acts as an appropriate companion to the main story.
Lowe’s performance is wonderfully suited to this dark comedy. She is effortlessly able to switch from being a pleasant & charming mother to be to deranged serial killer in an instant. The rest of the cast is made up of several different actors with quite small roles. However, these lead to a collection of shocking, savage and hilirious encounters throughout the film. Jo Hartley has the biggest supporting role as Ruth’s midwife. She has a wonderful chemistry with Lowe and their contrasting outlooks on her pregnancy often make for very amusing viewing. Aside from the comedic and darker scenes there were hints at some more touching moments too. This once more highlighted Lowe’s writing ability although the overall tone of the film never allows these occasions to fully develop or dominate the film. The soundtrack often set the tone, with a heavy synth beat accompanying the opening credits. Not dissimilar to something heard in the likes of ‘The Guest’ or ‘It Follows’ it gave the film a great pace and energy.
So what started out as a seemingly rather shallow slasher flick actually turned into something quite complex. You’ll definitely be entertained by the coarse black humour, horrifying content and clever writing. Lowe delivers in all aspects of her involvement, all the more impressive when you learn she actually was pregnant here. ‘Prevenge’ is one that may fly under the radar this year but it’s worth seeking out. In the same year that we’ve seen M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ this may well just be the most messed up thing you watch at the cinema in 2017!
Rating – 7.5/10
Question: What is your favourite dark comedy film?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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