If you're anything like me, you love a good horror movie. A few jump scares, a lil gore and perhaps a touch of the supernatural is the perfect way to spend a night in. But when I plan on heading to the theater to check out what's new, I do not intend to leave in an ambulance. This was the case for several moviegoers earlier this week during a late night screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, of a brand new zombie/cannibal horror titled Raw (a.k.a. Grave).
Raw premiered during Toronto's Midnight Madness, a night dedicated to a variety of off-beat and niche cinema. This violent and disturbing cannibal horror was obviously a little too much for some patrons, as emergency services were called after one scene which even had critics covering their eyes.
We have no idea what scene in question caused people to feel physically sick, but we can tell you that this is not your typical cannibal zombie gore fest. Ryan Werner — the guy responsible for marketing the movie at the festival — told the Hollywood Reporter that he hadn't seen people experience such a physical reaction to a movie since THAT scene in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist.
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Prepare For a "Gruesome Showdown"
From director Julia Ducournau, Raw follows 16-year-old Justine (Garance Marillier), a vegetarian veterinary student who has just enrolled in school to begin her training. In a bid to fit in, Justine finds herself taking part in the school's cruel and bizarre hazing rituals — one which includes eating a raw rabbits liver. Things pretty much implode from there, as Justine develops insatiable rage, violent urges and a thirst for human flesh.
The change in Justine sparks unrest with her older, more successful sister, which results in a "gruesome showdown" — perhaps this was the scene which had organizers dialing 911? Jennifer Bell, the festival’s VP of marketing and communications, made this statement following the incident:
“Incidents like this sometimes happen at TIFF screenings. The safety and security of all our patrons and guests is a priority for TIFF and any situation where an audience member is feeling unwell is handled with care and due professionalism by our venue teams.”
Vomiting moviegoers aside, the film has received rave reviews since its Midnight Madness screening. Some drew a likeness to werewolf/coming-of-age cult classic Ginger Snaps, and icon of horror Carrie. Film reporter Alicia Malone praised the movie as a "super cool, grisly, fun, fresh, gross French horror by badass female filmmaker. Not for weak stomachs!"
Raw is slated for release in France on March 15, 2017 — with no plans for a US date as yet. If the movie does make it here, it will probably have a limited release, likely with a NC-17 rating — if we're to believe the rumors. Raw will, however, be screening at Austin's Fantastic Fest on September 25 & 27 — if you want to test what you're really made of before everyone else.
Are you excited to see Raw? Let us know in the comments!