Raw was perhaps the most unique horror film I have watched to date. The premise of the film was quite simple. It was a about a teenage girl, Justine, who just entered college and was then forced to eat raw meat for their school’s initiation. However, due to her never tasting meat since she was raised as a vegan, she began to have an obsession towards raw meat as soon as she tasted it. This new obsession of hers eventually led her to try human flesh, which she started to crave. This craving of human meat led to a series of discoveries and problems for Justine as she goes through her freshman year.
However, rather than making me terrified, Raw left me more intrigued as the movie went on. It constantly revealed shocking truths about the characters which left my eyes glued to the screen. In the revealing of these truths, the characters became more fleshed out especially Justine and her sister Alexia. The movie was able show a good parallel between the sisters, which made me see two different sides of the problem in the movie. Should Justine try to restrain her cannibalistic urges and deny who she is, or should she be like her sister who fully accepts that she herself is a cannibal? Although the answer seems obvious when you consider the cannibalistic aspect of the problem, it made me ask myself whether it is better to stay true to myself and just not follow society’s expectations or should we just hide who we are in fear of being judged. This problem was not only reflected by the cannibalism of Justine. In fact, it was reflected when she first entered college. In the start of the film when we see she was forced to eat raw meat, she struggled as to whether she should eat the raw meat or stick to her principles as a vegan and just be seen as an outcast by the other students. In fact, in other scenes in the movie, Justine was constantly put in similar tough situations where she was forced to either go against what she believed in or to conform to what others expected her to do. This premise of the movie is what made me find myself relating to the characters and even sympathize with them. Although the problem of struggling with cannibalism is not a common thing for college students, Justine’s problem of facing difficult teachers, wanting to make her parents proud, and budging under peer pressure is something most college students can relate to. If we changed the main problem of the movie to something other than cannibalism, then the movie would have been an enjoyable family film.
The mix of Raw from between a horror and a coming of age ceremony made it a truly surprising movie. Rather than being terrified, I never expected to philosophize about my life and think about what I want to do with myself. It made me question whether I should remain as my raw self, free and true to myself, or should I hide who I am in order to be accepted? When we see the inner struggles of the characters, we can see how the title of Raw really is quite fitting for the film.