Toronto Film Review: ‘Revenge’

Toronto Film Review: ‘Revenge’
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 of “Revenge,” 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
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