Film: Revenge

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 108 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

FIRST-TIME French writer-director Coralie Fargeat seizes the exploitation horror subgenre by its privates and refuses to let go as she puts a feminist slant on the bloodthirsty battle of the sexes to echo the fiery indignation of the Me Too and Time's Up movements. Shot on location in Morocco, but set in an unspecified sun-baked wilderness, Revenge gleefully embraces gore-slathered visual excess and wears its 18 certificate as a badge of honour, spattering the camera lens with bodily fluids.

Lollipop-sucking sex bomb Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) joins her married lover Richard (Kevin Janssens) at a secluded retreat, but the air of wanton debauchery is soured by the unexpected arrival of Richard's lascivious hunting buddies, Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchede). The following morning, Stan forces himself upon Jen and refuses to take no for an answer. Jen threatens to tell Richard's wife so Richard, Stan and Dimitri plot to silence her and leave her body in the treacherous desert. More fool them.

Revenge is not for the faint of heart, gleefully spilling blood at every woozy juncture as Jen proves, through gritted teeth, that the female of the species is more deadly than the male. Fargeat directs at full pelt, eliciting a fearless central performance from Lutz, who embodies beauty and beast in sweet harmony.