As the years go by, it's becoming more and more apparent that the organizers behind Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness screening should have paramedics on standby at all times. After cannibal coming-of-age movie Raw left viewers physically sickened in 2016, this year's screening of French director Coralie Fargeat's debut feature Revenge has had a similar effect on its audience.
#TIFF's Midnight Madness selection is called madness for a reason, and is one of the most anticipated screenings of the film festival. Featuring up-and-coming genre cinema, this year's picks also included The Disaster Artist and S. Craig Zahler's (Bone Tomahawk) Brawl in Cell Block 99, but it was Revenge that won the award for audience, er, participation.
Revenge is a bloody rape-revenge thriller which Variety described as "operating at the high end of extreme French horror films like High Tension, Martyrs and, especially, Inside," which all sounds very promising for fans of grotesque genre horror. The movie stars Matilda Lutz as Jen, a quiet, beautiful women who heads for a weekend away with her boyfriend (Kevin Janssens) and two friends. What is meant to be a quiet getaway turns into hell when Jen is stalked and hunted like an animal, brutally assaulted and left for dead. She then becomes an angel of vengeance, offing her not-so-innocent victims with satisfying abandon and brutal realism.
According to reports by those who were in attendance — including the movie's director and star — one moviegoer found it all too much, and reportedly suffered a seizure as a result of the movie's grizzly subject matter. He was quickly rushed out of the screening and treated by paramedics. Fargeat was just as surprised as anyone to see such a physical reaction to her movie, telling IndieWire:
"We started to hear someone say, ‘hello, hello,’ from the audience. I didn’t know if it was someone making [a joke] in the room, then I see the paramedics in the cinema. Apparently, from what I’ve been told, a guy had a seizure. But I think he’s fine!"
The moment happened during one of many bloody and gruesome scenes from the film, where one of the characters has to remove a large chunk of glass from his foot. Lutz remembers filming the scene, and even admitted that she felt pretty queasy during that particular moment, telling IndieWire she "felt weird even though [she] shot it."
Fortunately, the poor gent was absolutely fine, and now #Revenge can joins the likes of Raw, Antichrist and The Exorcist to conjure a certain physical reaction from its audience. Described as a feminist revenge movie of our time, gifting us with a "final girl for the ages," Revenge will be released through Shudder in early 2018.
Are you pumped to check out Revenge? Let us know in the comments!