By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
Whenever you see pregnant women in horror films, you know some horrible shit is going to go down.
This ain’t no romcom, Mia.
In the case of Prevenge, though, the pregnant woman is the perpetrator of the horrible shit. Alice Lowe stars as a pregnant woman whose fetus tells her to kill. Right bastards, mostly, but still. Pregnant slasher revenge spree- how metal is that?
Alice Lowe is the alpha and omega of Prevenge, writing, directing, and starring, all while seven months pregnant, and doing it all on a low-budget and in less than three weeks (7 days for the script, 11 days for shooting). Practically the only she doesn’t do is write and perform the sweet electronica score, which instead comes courtesy of TOYDRUM.
The extent to which she succeeds despite all of these ostensible limitations is stunning. The script is fast-moving, darkly funny, and really gory, with the added bonus of a brilliantly deployed subtext of another creature taking over your biological functions, growing inside you, controlling your choices and impulses. The acting is excellent as well, from the parade of boorish victims to be to Lowe herself in the showcase role, one which in some ways could be the logical progression of her chilling turn in Sightseers.
You may also recognize her from Paddington. Seriously.
Lowe the director is even more impressive than Lowe the actress or Lowe the writer. She’s clearly been picking up tips and tricks for that last few years, and the polish she shows here might be this year’s most surprising statement of directorial bona fides outside of Jordan Peele’s Get Out. How many other actors are hiding spectacularly conceived horror films inside them?
You know Steve Buscemi has got to have some dark shit in there.
I’m not going to say that the seams don’t show here and there. Some scenes go a little long with the cringe comedy and the buildup to the inevitable slashing, and there’s an element of repetition in the middle stretches of the film that probably could have been tightened up a bit.
Prevenge is one hell of a strangely compelling passion project, a pregnant woman serial killer horror from pregnant director/star Alice Lowe.
Prevenge (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every death
Take a Drink: whenever the baby talks
Take a Drink: for the notebook
Take a Drink: whenever something truly nasty happens
Take a Drink: for black and white horror films
Do a Shot: for the testicle. You’ll know.