Weekly Shudder (temp name) will be an ongoing series of blogs/reviews of movies that are part of the online streaming service, Shudder, library.
I have found that the movies that have the most impact on me are the ones that I have no knowledge of before watching. Certainly, there is a lot of crap out there to wade through, but every once in a while something special rises to the top and surprises me in a really wonderful way. That’s exactly how PREVENGE (available exclusively on Shudder in the US) made me feel. PREVENGE is so good, so daring, so wonderful that it was like opening a Christmas gift on Christmas morning and getting that gift that is so perfect and yet you didn’t even know you wanted it.
Starring Alice Lowe as Ruth (Alice also wrote and directed the movie), PREVENGE is a bloody, body horror tale of a woman driven to kill by her loneliness and the malicious ravings of the baby growing inside her. As the film progresses more the story of why Ruth is killing and how she is choosing her victims is peeled back slowly, making the reveal of the entire backstory incredibly tragic and sad. Her victims don’t recognize Ruth, and it’s obvious by Ruth’s interactions with them that they should, and it adds to the sadness of her story when only one of her victims actually recognizes who she is beyond a pregnant woman. For most of the movie, Ruth is a blank as a person, almost totally stripped down to one discernable trait, she’s pregnant. Somehow this drives her to listen to her baby’s voice, and is cemented when her wet nurse explains that Ruth’s baby is now in charge of her entire life and Ruth better start listening to her baby.
To anyone that has been through the doctor visit process during a pregnancy, that kind of talk is meaningless baby babble from a nurse or doctor. But to Ruth, it’s something more, it is permission to succumb to her deepest desires through her baby’s commands.
PREVENGE is a brilliant slasher film, maybe one of the best in recent memory. It certainly deserves to be thought of in the same regard as AMERICAN PSYCHO by fans. But dig deeper into the movie and there’s more than just bloodletting and stabs galore. PREVENGE is about the grief of loss, the hopelessness we feel when our world is turned upside down, and the struggle we all feel to control a situation that is beyond our control or ability to fix.
There are many reasons to sign up for the Shudder streaming service, and now PREVENGE is one of them. Available exclusively in the U.S. via Shudder, released theatrically in the U.K.