I know I’ve been away for a few weeks, but I have returned to take part in my choice of Thursday Movie Picks about Body Horror movies.
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It’s almost impossible to go through this list without picking a David Cronenberg film even more so going through this list without picking a film inspired by the works of David Cronenberg. The first “pick” will be Cronenberg himself and the selected films are:
- The Brood
- The Fly
Any of which are perfect for this week’s theme.
Twenty years ago, Helen's hooker mother is raped and resulting this attack she becomes pregnant. She tries to get rid of the baby, but dies in the process whilst the baby survived. Fast-forward 23 years bike courier Helen (Alanna LeVierge) is involved in a nasty accident. This seems to awaken something inside her that desperately wants to get out.
This Canadian psychological, supernatural, body horror film takes inspiration from one Canada's greatest horror cinema icons David Cronenberg, especially in the scenes where Helen cuts or chokes out all sorts of strange foreign objects. Director Cody Calahan does an excellent job at heightening the tension surrounding Helen's deteriorating mental state, he does such a good job of it that sometimes even the audience can be left disorientated almost as much as they were in films like Starry Eyes, another film highly influenced by Cronenberg
The film's opening two acts makes a good attempt to stray away from the mainstream (there's a crappy horror film called The Unborn that has some similarities to Let Her Out) but there there are moments where the film does fall more in the mainstream category, especially in the film's final act. Alanna LeVierge's performance in the lead role is superb as she captures Helen's two different personalties brilliantly.
One of the main filmmakers that Julia Ducournau has acknowledged as a main influence on her work is David Cronenberg, the king of body horror. Raw is not a traditional horror film, but has its roots strongly planted in body horror with Cronenberg’s Shivers, a film which the infected victim is subject to extreme sexual desire, is a main influence. The repulsive rashes on the Justine’s stomach, extreme injury detail, and fear of what is happening inside your body is very much part and parcel of the body horror genre, but Julia Ducournau uses the themes of the story (coming of age, social acceptance, sexual awakening) to tell the story uniquely.
Unknown actress Garance Marillier does a superb job in the lead role making Justine a very empathetic person. Almost isolated and, at first, totally out of her comfort zone (as shown by the incredible one shot takes of Justine making her way through the rowdy parties) but once she consumes meat, her animalistic (the way she craves her gay roommate can be seen as animalistic) and carnivorous desires overwhelm her