Alice Lowe is best known as an actor in things like Sightseers, Kill List and Hot Fuzz to name a few. She’s also a writer, having written Sightseers as well as a number of shorts and Beehive for TV. Her latest is Prevenge, and there’s a definitely a theme forming.
A heavily pregnant woman (Lowe was actually seven-months pregnant during the filming of Prevenge so all those shots of her baby are real.), let’s call her psychotic Ruth, starts hearing her unborn baby who is telling her to kill. Ruth follows what the baby says and embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone she thinks she should.
If you’ve seen Sightseers you’ll have a fair idea of the sort of writer Alice Lowe is. Things are dark, very dark, though with Sightseers we also had some dark comedy occasionally. With Prevenge, that’s not the case. Prevenge is dark right from the word go and continues in that vein throughout.
Lowe teases us from the start about why she’s on this rampage. There are hints that her husband isn’t with us anymore but we don’t really know why. We’re not sure why she’s killing this people, how she’s selecting them over anyone else.
This is the sort of film you can imagine playing on late night Film4 or Channel 4 in the UK. It’s dark, it’s brooding, there’s flashbacks, weird electronic music, weird on-screen snippets. It’s all quite dark and weird and, despite IMDB listing it as a comedy, I didn’t find myself laughing at any point. I think avant-garde is the phrase I’m looking for.
With the baby talking to Ruth in a, freaky, high-pitched voice, she goes through people and reaches the final guy, the ones she’s been wanting to get to.
Prevenge is well directed, Lowe shows she’s a fine actor, particularly in these psychotic roles. However, it’s a slow movie, it lacks the dark laughs that we saw with Sightseers and this is for the worse. You kind of want it to kick into gear, to get going, but it never really does and it’s a shame.