Nobody puts baby (or mother) in the corner! That is the message in England’s own Alice Lowe’s directorial debut, Prevenge.
This pregnancy revenge film is not only written and directed by Lowe but she also stars in the lead role. Top that all off with the fact that she was heavily pregnant at the time of filming makes this a special cinematic feat.
Prevenge follows the story of Ruth (Lowe), an expecting mother who, after a tragic event, is left to continue the long road of pregnancy by herself, or so we think. Accompanied by the voice of her unborn child, Ruth leads a double life; expectant mother by day, serial killer by night.This dark comedy horror spares no expense in providing a quite brilliant satirical look at the struggles of motherhood and grief whilst also trying to stay raw and grounded. Each one of Ruth’s victims are so well crafted that at one exact moment we as an audience feel both compassion and distain towards their involvement in why she is grieving. Think Kill Bill but with your not-so-friendly hormonal pregnant neighbour seeking revenge. Not many films about serial killers can claim to have accomplished that.
Ruth’s interactions with her midwife (Jo Hartley) are what really brings the film back to earth with the reality of pregnancy and the challenges it presents. These are timely placed throughout the chapters of the film as Ruth works towards her ultimate goal, driven by the unforgiving tone of her unborn child (think a real life Stewie Griffin).
At its core, Prevenge is so well crafted that Ruth’s motivations for these grizzly murders are presented in such a way that it leaves you questioning your moral ambiguity. Does this person deserve to die? How would you react in this situation? Who is at fault here? Those are just a selection of the questions running through the audience’s minds at key moments during the film.
As mentioned before, this is Alice Lowe’s directorial debut, but it certainly doesn’t feel that she hasn’t done this all before. Each scene is crafted in such a way that we essentially feel as an extension of her character. We are seeing the world through Ruth’s eyes. One moment we are feeling sympathy towards what is happening on screen and suddenly the tone is switched dramatically with a change of camera placement in order to enhance the moment.
The climatic portion the film contains some fantastic imagery that shows that Ruth has reached what could be considered as her final form in her brutal quest for revenge.
At the end of it all, Prevenge manages to show pregnancies in an interesting and dark way that I, personally, have never witnessed before. It blurs the lines between realism and fantasy which shows that Lowe is only just getting started in her writing/directing career. The ending itself is open to multiple readings. Either way, Prevenge will leave you howling with laughter and grimacing at the same time whilst also questioning your moral standing. British horror cinema is reborn! (Pun intended).
Prevenge has arrived in UK Cinemas now! Be sure to catch the new arrival whilst you can.