Directed by Coralie Fargeat
A rape victim hunts down her abusers.
Feminism and exploitation cinema might seem an odd mix, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Not in Coralie Fargeat’s hands. With her “blunt, bloody, and stylish” feature debut—a rape-revenge drama starring Italian actress Matilda Lutz—the French filmmaker “at once exposes what’s wrong with her chosen genre and demonstrates her mastery of it.” Lutz plays Jen, a millionaire’s mistress who arrives for a weekend at her married lover’s desert villa sucking a lollipop. “Her every action is sexualized by the male gaze of the camera,” said Olivia Ovenden in Esquire.com, but that’s because Fargeat is insisting that Jen’s flirtiness can’t be an excuse when one of her lover’s hunting buddies rapes her and the men leave her for dead rather than risk exposure. Jen survives, though, and initiates a hunt for her abusers that’s “as captivating as Kill Bill.” The resulting gore is almost nauseating because Fargeat won’t let the violence be abstract, said David Sims in TheAtlantic.com. “Revenge has all the subtlety of a bazooka, but it’s an arresting watch.” ■