There’s no more treacherous horror subgenre than the rape-revenge thriller, because the worst examples confuse exploitation for empowerment, answering graphic scenes of sexual assault with a gruesome parade of righteous kills. The small miracle
,” an exceptionally potent and sure-handed first feature by French writer-director Coralie Fargeat
, is that it adheres to the formula yet feels invigorating and new, a stylistic tour-de-force that also tweaks the sexual politics in meaningful ways. Fargeat brings a rare woman’s perspective to the table, for one, but she also flat-out delivers the goods, operating at the high end of extreme French horror films like “High Tension
,” “Martyrs” and, especially, “Inside.” The streaming service Shudder picked up “Revenge
” prior to its world premiere at Tiff, and attention from genre fans is assured.
When Jen (Matilda Lutz
) arrives by chopper at her millionaire boy toy’s secluded desert villa, she deliberately casts herself as a grown-up Lolita, with