Prevenge (2016)

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After a weekend of praise for one female director reaching a breakneck magnitude another, in the form of Alice Lowe, has been bubbling quietly with murderous subtlety with her melancholy comedy horror. A project that breaks the mold in the originality stakes, all from just a tiny voice niggling away at her paranoia induced grief in a peculiar yet horrifyingly witty gore fest.

Best known for her role in Ben Wheatley’s 2012 black comedy Sightseers, Alice Lowe draped in her pregnancy glow, makes for a stony-faced killer as she bumbles her way through a story structured jaggedly throughout. Each gruesomely, merciless murder is played out in a series of short film like scenes, meshed together with Ruth (Lowe), nonchalantly getting on with her life as though nothing has happened as the cause of her murderous streak starts to unravel.

There is no pussy-footing around in Lowe’s Prevenge, within a matter of minutes the filled with grief for her dearly departed partner, heavily pregnant Ruth embarks on her first in a series of intriguing murders of a Reptile pet shop owner with a cold, callous and monotone approach. Slicing through each scene with a smooth transition Ruth targets a specific group of people as she dismembers and garrottes her victims. Starting off her killing spree fully focused it’s not long before her resolve starts to wean before the mean-spirited foetus messes with her mind to get her mission firmly back on track.

Cleverly, Lowe has miraculously managed to sustain the humour that makes this an impressively presented piece. Breaking up moments of brutality with turns that include a stomach churning vomit fuelled kiss to the witty one-liners after her dastardly deeds with blood spewing onto a rug “that’s going to need a bit of bleach”

Lowe, who not only wrote the script while pregnant also filmed the deadly comedy two weeks prior to giving birth to her own bundle of joy – Not only a horror where mother to be is under strict instructions from the babe within but also lurking beneath the layers of the narrative is an odd ode to pregnant woman everywhere, a nod to the fact that once a new life begins to grow you lose all control over your body – and hormones – to the soon to be life consuming offspring, just casually slipping into the script a line which would make any childless mother shudder by describing her own pregnancy as “like a hostile takeover”.

A lethal charm of paranoia infused witty repugnance, Lowe’s Prevenge will strike fear, quite rightly so, into the male population when it comes to their encounters with life-bearing women.  Far from a polished piece of material is of no consequence it’s this uniqueness that makes this so garishly and oddly addictive.

Prevenge is available on DVD June 5th 2017
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Alice Lowe
STARS: Alice Lowe, Kate Dickie, Dan Renton Skinner, Kayvan Novak
RUNTIME: 88 Mins
COUNTRY: UK

Film Rating: ★★★★☆

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