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TIFF 2016: ‘Prevenge’ Explores The (Very) Dark Side Of Pregnancy With Hilarious Results

Who’s Behind It

Written and directed by Alice Lowe, a veteran of British TV who also happens to be one of the masterminds behind 2012 TIFF favourite, Sightseers. Prevenge is her feature directorial debut.

Who’s In It

Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie, Jo Hartley, Dan Renton Skinner, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Davis, and Tom Meeten.

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Who’ll Love It

Sightseers fans and/or anyone who likes their pregnant serial killers with a generous serving of black comedy.

What’s It About

Pregnancy is challenging at the best of times, but Ruth (Alice Lowe) is struggling with a unique challenge: her unborn baby seems to be making all kinds of perversely violent demands. With Ruth’s mental state still in disarray following the recent death of her husband, she acts on these perceived instructions, resulting in a kill-crazy rampage. Simplifying matters for the misguided almost-mother, her victims have a false sense of safety stemming from her visible proximity to childbirth. But Ruth isn’t just any expectant mother—she’s a possessed, obsessive maniac committed to giving her unborn child everything she wants.

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Why You Should See It

Much like Sightseers, Prevenge presents us with a murderous duo (though one is tucked away in the protagonist’s womb) that appears unthreatening on the surface, only to casually commit acts of amusing brutality. As a writer-director, Lowe has a solid sense of her own strengths, creating a character that perfectly serves her unique comic disposition, one that mixes good-natured charm with unhinged volatility. As absurd as Ruth’s interactions with the maniacal baby voice may sound, Prevenge taps into the very real condescension pregnant women have to deal with—Lowe knows what she’s talking about, as she was seven months pregnant during the shoot—making Ruth’s sudden acts of violence simultaneously shocking, funny, and even a little cathartic. More importantly, Lowe again demonstrates a sophisticated wit and gift for comic surprise that is virtually unheard of in modern horror comedy.

When You Can See It

Saturday, September 17 at 6:15pm (Scotiabank 8). Tickets available here. Release date to be determined.

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