Revenge Blu-ray Review
Revenge may not be sweet, but it sure is stylish
Revenge Film Review
The brutal, bloody but very stylish indie horror thriller Revenge is a visceral and impressive debut from French writer/director Coralie Fargeat.Whisked off by private helicopter to his lavish desert retreat, Jen enjoys the benefits of having an affair with married millionaire Richard, but when his two friends turn up to take him on an impromptu hunting trip, things get sexually and violently complicated, and Jen ends up left for dead.
Whilst, on paper, Revenge sounds, both in description and in very title, as being utterly generic in terms of the standard exploitation rape-and-revenge sub-genre, it actually does deserve some credit for distinguishing itself from the standard fare. It may not be quite the revolutionary revelation that the five-star reviews are championing with hyperbole - it's always ill-advised to compare to Kubrick - but filmmaking newcomer Fargeat, and relatively fresh new lead actress Matilda Lutz (who was in the Rings remake) do a solid job stirring up trouble in the desert.
Ostensibly repurposing something like I Spit on Your Grave, only with survival tones a la First Blood, a Mad Max vibe thanks to the setting, and a vibrant avant-garde visual style and throbbing soundtrack (think Adam Wingard's The Guest) the fresh new filmmaker has done more than enough to distinguish this genre piece from the crowd.
A great little revenge flick which oozes style.
Shot through with interesting shots (the opening desert shot and panning out of the reflection on the sunglasses is a great intro to what to expect), and a fully-utilised, unusual setting (even the coloured glass of the villa is used to wonderful effect), Fargeat defines her brutal feature as much with the violence as with the ugliness of the world through her eyes. Her main rapist may be disgusting, but so too is his buddy, who actively does nothing about the atrocious act, with a close-up on his eating of a chocolate used to superb effect to highlight how nasty these characters are. Similar close-ups on a fire ant eating a rotten apple, and a horde of ants gathering on a gaping wound further this theme and cement the look (as does a fabulous dream/nightmare sequence), and - coupled with a punchy soundtrack - it's an impressive style, particularly for a debut effort.
Putting her female protagonist (Lutz will hopefully get more focus off this than just a score of films that require her to wear a bikini, doing things here that would make Rambo wince) through a bloody, brutal wringer, Fargeat crafts a great little revenge flick which oozes natural style, pushing it head and shoulders above its counterparts. Well worth investigating.
Revenge Blu-ray PictureRevenge earns itself a gorgeous 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen. The distinctive look of the film is celebrated here on Vertigo's Region B-locked UK Blu-ray, dripping with blood and style in equal measure.
A great video presentation for a very stylish film.
Detail is excellent, revelling in the gruesome and oftentimes grotesque close-ups with punishing clarity and crystal-clear distinction. Gallons of blood splash out across the screen - and often the camera lens - and wound detail is extreme, with the focus razor sharp.
The highly stylised film has some striking tones and the presentation is more than up to the challenge of depicting them in all their glory, with vibrant, vivid reds, as well as sun-scorched locales and battle-scarred tanned bodies, the aforementioned crimson floods, blue skies and equally blue swimming pool water. The lead character's initial outfits pop with primary verve, and black levels remain strong and solid, barely showing any sign of crush. It's a great video presentation for a very stylish film.
Revenge Blu-ray SoundA great little track which has been very well designed.
The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a stand-out affair too, boasting more than its fair share of music-dominated moments, where the engaging soundtrack - which helps no end with the vibrant style - thrums across the soundstage.
Effects are fabulously observed, revelling in the wounds and sounds of tearing flesh and splattering blood, whilst gunshots boom out across your living room, echoing around the desert; glass breaks, engines growl, and helicopters whip overhead. The crackle of a fire, the sound of a running shower or splashing in the pool - or lake - and the minutiae of gravel underfoot and desert insects contribute to the atmospheric environment that has been crafted. Surround usage is strong, LFE contribution noteworthy and, overall, it's a great little track which has been very well designed.
Revenge Blu-ray ExtrasNothing but a couple of trailers including the film's own Theatrical Trailer.
Revenge Blu-ray VerdictA very stylish, impressive debut.
Writer/director Coralie Fargeat has crafted a very stylish, impressive little revenge film debut with fresh new star Matilda Lutz. It's electric with bloody intensity, visually striking and driven by a great little score to boot, all of which shine on this nice little UK Blu-ray release, which boasts demo video and audio even if it doesn't have anything to offer in the extras department. It's well worth checking out.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £9.99
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