One of the standout horror features at this year’s Fantastic Fest was Raw, Julia Ducournau’s debut feature about a sheltered first-year veterinary student who experiences a harrowing awakening after she, a lifelong vegetarian, is forced to eat raw meat as part of a hazing ritual. At that festival, we called the film a “beautifully realized, symbolically rich, and disturbingly erotic meditation on primal hungers of all kinds,” adding that while it “doesn’t shy away from showing the act of cannibalism itself, its intensity is as much emotional as it is visceral.”
Sometimes it’s tough giving recommendations out of film festivals, though, because you can’t be sure when—or even if—someone who wasn’t at the festival will be able to see the movie you’re raving about. In this case, though, that question has been answered, as Deadline reports that Raw will open “in select cities” on March 10 courtesy of Focus World. The company also plans to roll out the film on all the various digital VOD platforms next summer, for those who don’t live in “select” places.
The film has been receiving all sorts of awards on the festival circuit, picking up awards for best first-time director at Fantastic Fest and BFI London Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival, and three awards at Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest festivals specializing in genre film. But perhaps its most high-profile bit of publicity yet was a screening at TIFF where several audience members had to be taken out in an ambulance, lending instant gorehound credibility to anyone who sits through the film without flinching. Pigeonholing it as a “gross-out” movie does Raw a major disservice, though, as it’s just as much an artfully made coming-of-age story as it is a gory horror flick.
There’s no American trailer for Raw out yet, but you can read more about the film on the Focus World website.