‘PREVENGE’ is a slasher movie available on Apple iTunes with touches of morbid black comedy, written, directed and starred in by British filmmaker Alice Lowe. She plays Ruth, a very pregnant woman who we see in the opening scene visiting an odd store selling exotic animals like snakes, lizards and other reptiles.
The man who owns the shop asks her suggestively: “This is my big fat snake. Do you want to touch it?”
Without any warning, she then gets a knife and slits his throat. Her next victim is a fat DJ who barfs on his own wig and then tries to make out with her.
He takes her home to his mother who has dementia, without even noticing that her tummy is too big as she’s 8 months preggers. She slashes him too by eviscerating his testicles. Her next victim is a woman, the head of human resources who denies giving Ruth her maternity leave.
In between her killings, she visits a midwife in a clinic who tells her that the baby in her womb will let her know what’s good for her. Ruth says she thinks that her baby is actually telling her what to do. We then hear the baby’s squeaky voice talking to her in a number of monologues, urging her to kill people. Clearly, Ruth is insane.
Whereas some moms suffer from post-partum problems, hers is clearly a case from pre-partum problems turned into a killing spree. It turns out that this is triggered by the death of her baby’s dad. It will be revealed later that her partner died in a climbing incident when the rope holding him to safety was cut loose by his group mates. She now takes revenge on the people involved in her husband’s sudden death from falling off a cliff.
This vengeance tale is clearly reminiscent of Francois Truffaut’s movie, “The Bride Wore Black”, where Jeanne Moreau played a bride whose groom was murdered on their wedding day so she hunts down all the killers. This plotline was later used in “Kill Bill” and also inspired local films about a woman on a rampage, “Angela Markado” (filmed twice) and “Magdalena Palacol”.
The novelty of “Prevenge” is that the avenger is an expectant mother whose unborn child is the one who compels her to kill. It seems an intriguing idea, but the execution is not simply unconvincing and just lacks sophistication. To begin with. you wonder why her male victims, who are much bigger and more able bodied than her, do not even make an effort to defend themselves.
Ironically, it’s a prospective female victim who gets to fight with Ruth using a pair of boxing gloves at that. Also, there is no news at all about her victims and if there’s any conscious effort in the part of the cops to investigate who the culprit might be.
Actually, Ruth is a protagonist who’s hard to sympathize with. Lowe attempts to get into her head but it’s quite unsuccessful. We think one reason is that the cause of why she kills other people is revealed only much, much later and, for a while, we’re really clueless as to what motivates her very disturbing actions. Also, the characters she disposes of seem pretty obnoxious, so they’re just rightfully dispensable. In the final analysis, who cares whatever happens to all of them?