I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I went to start this film. Something about the premise seemed too simple to me and I had basically set myself up to know how this story was going to be told before even starting. To my surprise, Prevenge managed to subvert my expectations to deliver a fresh take on the revenge-horror genre.
The story focuses on Ruth (Alice Lowe), seven months pregnant and clearly working through emotional trauma that is unknown to the audience. Traveling city by city, Ruth begins a killing spree of seemingly random individuals at the behest of her unborn child. Yup, you heard me right. Ruth’s killings aren’t brought on by her own desires to kill, but rather by the orders given by her daughter. Disobey and Ruth’s life could be taken as easily as her daughter’s was given.
It may sound strange, albeit somewhat repetitive for the genre, but the relationship between Ruth and her daughter is actually the strongest part of this film. She serves as a sort of “devil on my shoulder” character and it’s through this relationship that we begin to understand just what happened to Ruth that drove her to the point of murder. I won’t lie that it was fairly easy to pick up what writer Alice Lowe (surprise!) was throwing down with the messaging here, but it was done in such a way that, as a viewer, trying to guess the motivation behind Ruth’s actions was rather fun and kept me engaged until the end.
There isn’t a huge cast for this film which ultimately is alright as the focus is purely on Ruth. Director Alice Lowe (surprise again!) really emphasized this by making all the shots with Ruth close up and raw. Almost as if you were right there with her. By the end of the film you really feel like you’ve gotten to know Ruth, her struggles, and the motivations for her actions and it’s all because of the almost matter-of-fact direction. Alice really did bring a triple-threat approach here with her acting, directing, and writing.
Ultimately, Prevenge wasn’t a perfect film by any means — but it was an enjoyable one. An engagingly predictable script, personal direction, and believable acting by Alice Lowe turned what could have been a bland revenge film into an engaging exploration into a woman’s grief.
PREVENGE is streaming on The Icon Film Channel now
Review – Prevenge
Reviewed online (screener provided by Icon Film), May 27, 2021. Rating: MA. Running time: 88 min.
PRODUCTION: (UK) A Gennaker and Western Edge Pictures production. Producers: Jennifer Handorf, Will Kane, Vaughan Sivell. Executive producers: Franki Goodwin, Will Kane, Mike Rattenbury, Mike Shirley, Vaughan Sivell, Andrew Thomas
CREW: Director/Writer: Alice Lowe. Cinematography: Ryan Eddleston. Editing: Matteo Bini. Music: Pablo Clements, James Griffith, Toydrum.
CAST: Alice Lowe, Dan Renton Skinner, Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Leila Hoffman, Kate Dickie, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Meeten, Marc Bessant, Gemma Whelan, Della Moon Synnott, Grace Calder, Eileen Davies, Elen Rattenbury, Jacqueline Wright, Sara Dee