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Review: Prevenge – “The humour is jet black, straight-faced, and deliciously vicious”

Prevenge is a British horror film written by, directed by, and starring Alice Lowe (Sightseers) – who was 7-8 months pregnant during the shoot. The film also features Game of Thrones’s Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy) and Kate Dickie (Lysa Arran), as well as Tom Davis (Free Fire) and Dan Renton Skinner (High-Rise).

Ruth is a recently widowed mother-to-be who can hear the voice of her unborn child. Her midwife advises her that “baby knows best” and will let her know what she should be doing, but what Ruth’s bump wants is to bump people off. As Halloween and Ruth’s due date approach – and the bodycount rises – we gradually learn why Ruth and baby are so angry and vengeful, and that when you’re expecting you can literally get away with murder.

When the knocked up Ruth starts knocking off those that have wronged baby, the murders pull absolutely no punches. Evil and gruesome, these scenes are not just great horror film sequences, but also hilarious and often heartbreaking too.

Alice Lowe’s preggo psycho with a craving for killing feels real and full-blooded. Lowe juggles the comedy and horror on the page and behind the camera, while also presenting us with a matriarchal murderess that we love and support as she slashes her way through a series of repugnant men and women.

The film’s clean, slightly retro leaning, visual style mixes a little flash with some kitchen sink, and the beautiful with the skin crawling. Kills and action are shot with heat and energy, but there is also confidence enough to stay still and let tender scenes breath and comedy shine. This humour is jet black, straight-faced, and deliciously vicious, but underneath is a tender, sad and tragic motive.

Unforgettably, Prevenge’s in utero homicidal mastermind “baby” sounds like a mental Moaning Myrtle, and the film is soundtracked with a pulsing electro score. There is even a brilliant disco dancing scene. Prevenge is a funny and fucked up tale of foetal fury that marks Alice Lowe as an essential voice and talent.

Prevenge is released in the UK on the 10th of February, but before that Alice Lowe is on tour with the film and doing Q and A too. Tickets are available here.

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