Words by Ed King
Written by, directed by and starring Alice Lowe, Prevenge premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2016 and is set for general release in the UK on 10th February 2017. Prevenge is a Western Edge Pictures Production.
The Wikipedia entry (…calm down, it’s only a reference point) for Prevenge reads as follows: ‘The film features a pregnant woman who is convinced her foetus is compelling her to murder.’
So there’s that.
Now know that Prevenge is the directorial debut feature film from Alice Lowe – who spread her smaller screen wings amongst such macabre magic as Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, The Mighty Boosh, Little Britain, The IT Crowd and Black Books. Lowe has previous penned (and co-starred in) a feature film too, Sightseers, about a murder rampage come caravanning holiday. So not Carry-on-a-Cliché when it comes to what’s funny.
Now read the Wikipedia entry for Prevenge again…
But what lies underneath Prevenge’s surface are deeper questions about antenatal depression, the objectification of pregnancy, the brutality of pregnancy, human morality and original sin. The central character, Ruth, an emotionally detached automaton with a kitchen knife, is not meant to be a lovable rogue. There’s no championing of the cull with a Dexter-esque analysis, this is real life. Just thank God it’s not real. And (so I’ve heard) the humour may be too dark for some to laugh at.
Personally I’d crawl over broken glass to see how this premise unfolds, although that’s probably an exaggeration. Loose gravel. But if you need some stamps of industry authority Prevenge was both nominated for the Doug Hickox Award at the British Independent Film Awards and won the Monster Innovation Award at Australia’s ‘premier genre film festival’ in 2016. Prevenge also made the official selection for the BFI London Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice International Critics’ Week the same year.
Reviews from Variety to The Guardian have further praised Prevenge for its ‘uniquely frightening, funny take on the alienating effects of prepartum depression’ and ‘grisly fantasy-rhapsody about a sense of invasion and infection’ respectively.
So there’s all that too.
But what does anyone know… And considering Alice Lowe was pregnant when filming Prevenge, bearing in mind both the film’s clear narrative thread and the tribulations of method acting, I’m not saying anything too loudly either way.
Prevenge – by Alice Lowe
Prevenge will be screened at The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen on Sunday 22nd January. For direct info, online tickets sales, menus and the venue’s full programme of films & events, visit www.mockingbirdcinema.com
For more on Prevenge, visit www.prevengemovie.co.uk
For more from on Alice Lowe, visit www.alicelowe.net