It’s not every day that we get fully realized queer characters in horror films, so it was a refreshing change of pace to watch two films in one weekend that each offered one—a gay guy and a lesbian—along with a lot of flesh consuming.
For me to be drawn to horror films more focused on depth than making me piss myself, the smart part has to be incredibly compelling, and that’s not what I expected to get when I took the plunge and watched Raw.
The only thing I knew about it going in is that it supposedly made people sick. I was anticipating vomit-inducing cannibalism! Honestly, I only looked away during the “animal parts.” See, the film is about students in veterinary school, and the scenes of them working on animals are way too graphic and detailed for my tastes. Like, to the point where the animals look real. If they were, I don’t want to know.
The fascinating part of the film is about a girl from a strictly vegan family who joins her sister as a student at the school. After a weird hazing ritual that involves eating raw meat, her appetite starts to…change.
Aside from the slow building revolt by her taste buds from fruit to flesh, the film is loaded with parallel exploration of the hunger one gets once they experience sex.
There are plenty of incredibly bizarre situations happening here, some of them involving her and her sister, which makes for several uncomfortable scenes (bordering on completely fucked up).
For me personally. one of the strongest aspects of the film is her gay roommate.
He’s cute, he’s incredibly likable, and he seems to know exactly who he is, standing strong and defending his sexuality whenever it’s challenged.
So wouldn’t you know…his gayness is eventually put into doubt. A bisexual character is one thing, but this guy totally identifies as gay from the start…
…until the moment he delves into passionate sex with a woman.
Sigh. He eventually gets pissed that he slept with a girl and insists he’s gay, but doth protest so much you start to question whether or not he’s a big closeted breeder.
Scout and friends go camping in the woods. There’s some character development as all the hetero people in the group act like their worlds are falling apart because Scout used to be with a guy but is now with a girl. Jeez. Why can’t straighties get a grasp on this shit?
Then one of the guys makes the ultimate horror movie mistake. Personally, I consider it a general life mistake, because life is a horror movie to me. It’s bad enough he goes into the woods to camp in the first place. He then goes off on his own to pee, which ironically, is when the shit hits the fan.
Basically, people begin turning into The Descent creatures when they’re bit or scratched by one of the other ferals.
And of course they end up in a cabin in the woods…with a trap door basement.
But there’s no campy Evil Dead tone here. This is solid horror, with good gore, nonstop action and suspense, great creatures, and kids making the usual dumb mistakes.
Plus, Scout is such a kick ass butch—I mean, bitch—that I kept saying out loud that I really need a lesbian in my life to protect me if I ever go out in the woods camping.
Well, I guess that actually explains why I don’t have a lesbian in my life. I will never go camping in the woods.