Following the footsteps of her parents and older sibling, shy vegetarian teenager Justine (Garance Mariller) enrolls in a veterinary college where she is thrust almost immediately into bizarre hazing rituals at the hands of elder students, including her older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf). Faced with the dilemma of consuming raw meat or enduring further humiliation, Justine swallows more than her pride and things quickly go very, very wrong. Anchored by a fierce lead performance, writer-director Julia Ducournau’s first feature is most impressive. A grisly but bold tale of womanhood and female sexuality à la Cronenberg via Argento—but from the country that gave us steak tartare. You have been warned.
“A deliciously fevered stew of nightmare fuel that hangs together with a breezily confident sense of superior craft...the authorial voice that emerges is so instantly complete and confident. [Ducournau] has original ideas to spare and the capacity to judiciously magpie from existing work, without tipping over into slavish homage.” —Catherine Bray, Variety
“The young cast, from the newbie leads to an army of go-for-it extras, are terrific, and Marillier is something else—ferociously expressive in a performance that’s no-holds-barred on every front.” —Jonathan Romney, Screen International
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