Dir: Alice Lowe, 2016
It’s difficult to categorise this film, as it crosses so many genres.
Deep down, Prevenge is a black comedy. With its dark humour and off colour tone, the film isn’t going to be accessible to everyone.
A pregnant woman, Ruth, goes on a killing spree, murdering the people who were involved in the death of her partner, during a climbing trip.
Writer, director and star, Alice Lowe, is undeniably brilliant as Ruth. Channeling Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, Lowe delivers a fine performance as the unhinged woman having conversations with her unborn daughter.
Dry and acerbic, Lowe magnificently spits venom and coarse language with ease. Seldom showing any emotion in the role, the Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace actress is wonderfully creepy, exhibiting an unbalanced mind. It goes to show that less can be more.
However, the pacing is rather slow and is at risk of coming to a standstill. It’s obvious that Lowe is aware of this, so she steps in and gives things a jolt. Unfortunately, she has to resort to shock tactics and gore.
Although a dark comedy, this level of violence seems at odds with the rest of the film. Slapstick violence can be incredibly funny. The TV series Bottom proved that. But this isn’t slapstick. It’s rather graphic and lacks any amusement. There is a sense of sadism running through it. A penis removal scene, a la I Spit On Your Grave, is one such example.
For a first feature, Alice Lowe has done pretty good. With a few tweaks, here and there, I have high hopes that her succeeding films will hit the nail on the head.
Not fantastic, but worth a shot of you like dark comedy.