31 Days of horror movies: Revenge is a harrowing tale of survival

Matila Lutz in REVENGE, a Shudder Original. Image courtesy Shudder
Matila Lutz in REVENGE, a Shudder Original. Image courtesy Shudder /

Are you looking for a different kind of horror this Halloween season? Well I have got a great choice here if you are, with Revenge (2017), which is the sixth movie for 1428 Elm’s 31 Days of Horror. Instead of being a movie about ghosts or slasher villains, this is a film that is about one woman’s harrowing survival against three married men.

Revenge (2017) is a French film about a woman named Jen, played by Matilda Lutz, who is vacationing at a secluded desert house with her boyfriend Robert, a married man. After she gets raped by one of Robert’s friends, the rapist, Robert, and one other friend attempt to murder Jen. However unluckily for the three hunters, Jen survives and thus ensues a game of cat and mouse, where the hunters may just become the hunted.

Revenge (2017) is more than just a rape and revenge fantasy.

Unlike so many other films with a rape and revenge plotline, Revenge (2017) doesn’t feel exploitative. This is a movie that instead shows a woman go through a horrible tragedy, but she is able to handle the situation by herself. There is no need for a man to come in and save Jen; she is perfectly capable of doing everything alone. It also doesn’t hurt that the rape scene is heavily villainized and is not the film’s centerpiece (I’m looking at you, Irreversible).

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz attend the photocall for “Final Cut (Coupez!)” during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Revenge (2017) doesn’t feel like some director or writer’s twisted fantasy, a fact that is presumably due to the film being written and directed by a woman. The writer-director, Coralie Fargeat does an incredible job at reimagining the rape-revenge genre by giving the authority in the movie back to the woman being victimized, a choice that is rarely, if ever, actually seen.

This is a horror countdown though, so why does Revenge (2017) belong on this list? Well, aside from the fact that it deals with this horrific and terrifying series of events, the movie is full of other elements included in horror movies. Of course, there is plenty of blood and gore, but this isn’t the only interesting element to be found in Revenge (2017).

An exciting aspect of the movie is that the characters in the film go back and forth in terms of who is hunting who. This means that sometimes the men feel like the typical killers of a horror movie, while other times Jen feels a bit more like it.

This leads me to another thing that I must point out with the movie, which is that Matilda Lutz gives an absolutely incredible performance. Jen is not a perfect character, she has flaws; I mean, she’s in this situation because she is knowingly sleeping with a married man. However thanks in part to an incredible screenplay assisting Lutz, Jen is still humanized and relatable, which makes the revenge aspect of the movie feel all the more relatable and justifiable.

Revenge (2017) isn’t your typical horror movie when all is said and done, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time during the Halloween season. If you are wanting to check out this thriller film, it is currently located exclusively on the streaming platform Shudder.

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Have you watched Revenge (2017)? If so let us know what you think about the film down below!