Review: Prevenge

Directed by: Alice LoweStarring: Alice Lowe, Della Moon Synnott, Gemma Whelan, Tom Davis, Mike WozniakRelease Date: February 10thRuntime: 88 minutes[br]ALICE was definitely not in Wonderland when she wrote Prevenge. This directorial debut shuns all things whimsical and fancy as she takes on a twisted, dark tone for this slasher flick.
“Prevenge is a smart satire of the perils of pregnancy.”
Alice Lowe directs and stars as Ruth, a heavily pregnant mother to a baby girl. Ruth undergoes frequent hallucinations, during which she hears the voice of her unborn daughter, who commands her to commit murder. What follows is a manic killing spree, the targets chosen seemingly at random – a slimy DJ, a young sports fan, a high ranking businesswoman, and the list goes on. Eventually a motive for Ruth’s compliance murder is revealed as the film shifts towards her inward battle against the dark thoughts polluting her mind.Prevenge is a smart satire of the perils of pregnancy. When a mother is bound to her baby physiologically, emotionally, and mentally, she subjects herself in totality to her baby’s needs. The old adage “baby knows best” is spoofed here, as Ruth attempts to persuade herself that the murders she has been committing are excused simply because it was what her baby girl wanted. Cleverly timed punchlines and a dark sense of humour play nicely against the dark tone of the subject matter.
“Cleverly timed punchlines and a dark sense of humour play nicely against the dark tone of the subject matter.”
The baby’s lines, spoken by Della Moon Synnott with free vulgarity, offers a complete contrast to her mother’s implacable sweetness. This clash shows just how much rage and anger Ruth is literally holding inside of her. And it’s clear that it’s bound to boil over soon.Visually, Lowe does a great job provoking reactions from the audience. Murder sequences fill the majority of the film’s runtime and are suitably gruesome, enough so to have audiences wincing in discomfort. To top it all off, there’s a scene which concerns a sliced penis, and boy, it delivers.In a nutshell: Alice Lowe successfully navigates her directorial debut, a black comedy that makes the crowd laugh one second, and cover their eyes the next.