This review was originally published on News Cult in March 2017.

Starring: Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie, Jo Hartley

Director: Alice Lowe

Running Time: 88 Minutes

Rating: Not Rated, But Note That It Has Plentiful Gleeful Stabbings

Release Date: March 24, 2017 (Limited)/Also Streaming on Shudder

From writer-director-star Alice Lowe, Prevenge follows Ruth (Lowe), a pregnant woman hunting down one-by-one those who have done her wrong. If you are into seeking out uncompromising horror films off the beaten path, then you know what you are in store for. Prevenge is all about forcefully setting the world aright with a feminist edge, in the vein of Teeth’s dark coming-of-age or The Loved Ones’ prom-gone-very-wrong. Lowe’s entry is an especially principled addition to the genre. There are so many ways that pregnancy can drain away independence, and Ruth’s experience very much leans into all of them. Sometimes supposedly following the kill commands of your unborn child is the only thing to hold on to when seeking anything resembling sense.

The other major piece of catnip for horror hounds here is the synth-heavy score, placing Prevenge in the long line of John Carpenter’s descendants. It is not so much the sounds themselves that stand out, but the way they are played: a particular phrase comes on multiple times and stops without warning. It lends a sense of the same terror being repeated over and over in a sort of Möbius strip. Ruth’s whole world is on edge, and there is no indication that will change after she accomplishes her goal or reaches her due date.

Prevenge is Recommended If You LikeThe Loved OnesTeeth, John Carpenter’s Scores

Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Unwelcome Drunken Kisses