Widow Ruth is seven months pregnant when, believing herself to be guided by her unborn baby, she embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone who stands in her way.
If there’s anyone that can pull off a matriarchal slasher complete with a subversive sense of humour then it has to be Sightseer’s very own Alice Lowe. Known mostly for her TV appearances, Lowe has become a triple threat with her excellent feature debut Prevenge. Inspired by Taxi Driver and her own desire to direct a feature, Lowe has proven herself as a filmmaker to watch out for. With this project, she has really put into practice all the directorial tips she has other directors and does so with gusto. Directing long lingering scenes she creates a narrative intensity it also allows her cast to shine and keeps her audience fully engaged.
Surprisingly Unlike other revenge films where the audience is shown at the beginning why the protagonist is causing so much death, Prevenge puts its audience in unfamiliar territory and only teases at what has happened in the past. Lowe’s decision to do this is very admirable. She gets her audience to think about the film along the way and challenges viewers to sympathise with the lead. At first this is a very difficult task as the lead character isn’t that likeable at first but through a display of vulnerability, hesitation and the tender but moments where she interacts with the voice of her unborn child, Lowe makes it impossible not to forge a strong bond with the character. So as the climax of the film arrives and the reason behind the carnage is finally revealed it’s hard not to forgive her for every awful act.
Clearly a lot of thought has been put into the making of this film but what’s surprising is that Alice Lowe wrote and shot this film in the three months leading up to the birth of her own child. This task alone is nothing short of remarkable but it is a testament to Lowe’s standard of work. Speaking of which, her standard of humour is known for its sophistication so it pleased me to discover that her standard is upheld with Prevenge. The humour is incredibly sharp and similar in taste to Sightseers so fans of that film will know what they are in for here. But for those of you that haven’t yet seen Sightseers, expect a bevy of unforgettable moments that you will continue to laugh about them long after the movie is over.
In closing, it gives me great pleasure to say just how I loved this movie. It was fun, it was touching and it was incredibly shocking. Lowe is a talent worth watching and I can’t wait to see what her twisted mind will come up with next!
Review By Jon Dickinson