Revenge (2017 film)
Revenge is a 2017 French rape and revenge action horror film directed and written by Coralie Fargeat. Starring Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe and Guillaume Bouchède, it follows a young woman who is assaulted and left for dead in the desert.
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Coralie Fargeat|
|Written by||Coralie Fargeat|
|Music by||Robin Coudert|
|Distributed by||Rézo Films|
It screened in the Midnight Madness section of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, in the Midnight Shivers programme of the 21st Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) and in the Midnight Premieres programme of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Jen is an American socialite who is in a secret relationship with her married neighbor Richard. The two fly out to Richard's secluded home in the middle of the desert for a weekend together before his annual hunting trip with friends Stan and Dimitri; Richards's helicopter pilot gives him some peyote as a gift. However, Stan and Dimitri arrive a day early, disappointing Richard, who was hoping to keep Jen a secret. While the three men and Jen have a fun night of drinking and dancing, Jen hides the peyote in her necklace for Richard.
The next morning, while Richard is away, Stan tries to get Jen to have sex with him, claiming she had come on to him the night before. When she refuses, he rapes her while Dimitri actively ignores them. Richard returns, berates Stan, and offers Jen a large sum of money to forget about the incident. When Richard refuses to send Jen home and she threatens to reveal the nature of their relationship to Richard's wife, he slaps her and she runs off into the desert while the three men give chase, ending at a dead-end cliff. Richard pretends to call his pilot to take Jen home, then pushes her off a cliff, where she is impaled on a tree during the fall. She falls unconscious and is left for dead by the three men, who promise to continue their hunting trip as if nothing had happened.
Jen wakes up and uses her lighter to set the tree she is impaled on fire, causing it to break and allowing her to make her escape with a branch still stuck through her body. She wanders through the desert, trying to avoid the three men, who have since realized that she's escaped and have split up to search. Jen encounters Dimitri urinating in a river and attempts to shoot him with his own shotgun, but it is not loaded. Dimitri tries to drown Jen, but she takes his hunting knife and stabs him in both eyes. He bleeds out in the river, as Jen takes the knife, gun, and Dimitri's supplies.
Jen hides in a cave and uses the peyote to numb herself before removing the branch and cauterizing the wound with an aluminum beer can, branding herself with the beer's phoenix logo. After a series of nightmares of the men hunting her, Jen sets out to hunt them down first. After the remaining men discover and dispose of Dimitri's body, Richard orders Stan to track Jen down in his SUV. Stan runs out of gas while in Jen's sights, and Jen shoots him in the shoulder while he attempts to refill the tank. Jen and Stan engage in a gunfight, in which Stan blows Jen's earlobe off with a rifle and Jen tricks Stan into stepping on a large piece of broken glass. After removing the glass from his foot, Stan tries to run Jen down with the SUV. However, Jen kills him with Dimitri's shotgun and takes the car.
Richard returns to the house, calls the helicopter, and takes a shower, but hears a noise and searches the property for Jen. She finds him once he's given up and shoots him in the stomach, and the two chase each other around the house with shotguns. Richard knocks Jen out with his shotgun and tries to strangle her, but she shoves her hand in his stomach wound, forcing him to drop her. Jen recovers her shotgun and shoots Richard in the chest, killing him. A bloodied but triumphant Jen walks out of the house and turns around as she hears the helicopter approach.
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The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 11 September 2017. Prior to that, Shudder acquired distribution rights to the film. It was later revealed Neon would distribute the film theatrically in the United States, before its release on Shudder.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 96 reviews, and an average rating of 7.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Revenge slices and dices genre tropes, working within an exploitation framework while adding a timely – yet never less than viscerally thrilling – feminist spin." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 23 critics.
A.O. Scott of The New York Times said, "Blunt, bloody and stylish almost in spite of itself, Revenge is a synthesis of exploitation and feminism." Kevin Maher of The Times provides a more negative review: "Labelled a 'feminist rape-revenge movie', it takes all the traditional tenets of that most dubious of genres and simply does them again."
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- Lemercier, Fabien (1 March 2017). "Coralie Fargeat shooting Revenge". Cineuropa. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Wilner, Norman (1 August 2017). "TIFF 2017's Midnight Madness, documentary slates are announced". Now. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
- "Revenge". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Erbland, Kate (13 September 2017). "'Revenge': Inside the TIFF Midnight Madness Premiere So Intense That Paramedics Were Called". IndieWire. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Lang, Brent; Keslassy, Elsa (30 August 2017). "Shudder Nabs 'Revenge' in Pre-Toronto Film Festival Deal (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Hipes, Patrick (23 January 2018). "NEON Teams With Shudder On 'Revenge' Deal – Sundance". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- "Revenge - Bande annonce 1 - VO - (2018)". Orange Cinéma. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Collis, Clark (29 March 2018). "A woman takes bloody Revenge against her assaulters in exclusive trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- "Revenge (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- "Revenge Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Scott, A.O. (9 May 2018). "Review: In 'Revenge,' the Trophy Turns Hunter". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Maher, Kevin (11 May 2018). "Film review: Revenge". The Times. Retrieved 21 May 2018.