Ravenous (Les affamés)2018
Ravenous (Les affamés) (2018)
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Critic Reviews for Ravenous (Les affamés)
An interesting take on the zombie genre, but its laid-back indie narrative, which never really bothers with a plot, can make enjoying its occasional splatters of blood a bit of a slog.
Robin Aubert's idiosyncratic and nuanced drama breathes fresh life into the zombie apocalypse subgenre.
Sure, his script is yet another tale of several strangers teaming up to fight the flesh-eaters, but the director favors a more eclectic approach that's equal parts George Romero, Robert Bresson and Monty Python.
The result is(...)a road trip zombie film without a destination. [The fact that] the search for safety never truly amounts to anything is a testament to the film's bleak(...)point of view, but it also makes the 96-minute runtime feel much longer.
Robin Aubert creates a horror thriller about zombies reliant on silences and a predominant visual language and succeeds. [Full Review in Spanish]
Audience Reviews for Ravenous (Les affamés)
My life is now divided into two parts. Pre-Get Out and post-Get Out. I don't know how I'm gonna recover after one of the deepest experiences I've had watching a film for some time, but I'm gonna have to. Seriously though, let's move on to this review. Zombie films really are a dime a dozen. And I'm speaking about before the release of The Walking Dead, the television series, in 2010, which made people who normally wouldn't give the time a day to a show related, but not really, around a zombie apocalypse. After the release of this massively successful show, that's been on the downturn in terms of viewership for a couple of years now, obviously people wanted to cash in on the popularity of the sub-genre. I liken it to when Twilight came out and, for a very short while, the whole craze was vampires. Somehow, and I don't know why, the zombie trend has survived for longer than the vampire craze did. I think it's the fact that, realistically speaking, zombie films are far easier to market, in a way, than vampire films. Vampire films are, usually, more character-driven than horror driven, though that's not always the case naturally. For example, the vampires in 30 Days of Night felt more like zombies that could only come out at night. Whereas zombies can be sold on the horror and action, but it can also end up being a character-driven story as well, like in this movie or Here Alone. And that's really the closest thing I can compare this movie to, Here Alone. But, if I'm being honest, it's a comparison that ends up being unfavorable to this movie. Cause, in spite of everything the movie does right, the zombies feel like real, legitimate threats and not just cannon fodder like they are in the Walking Dead. How they accomplish this, I don't really even know, I just like the way how their presence, even if they're standing still and far off in the distance, is something that the characters need to watch out for. Their sound design is also tremendous. Their screams/screeches have an almost human quality to them, but it's still very much monstrous. The zombies might actually be the best part of this movie and that's not something that I find myself saying when it comes to movies like this. Again, they're just handled very effectively. It's everything else that I found to be a bit...lacking. The movie is centered around the survival of these characters and their search for a safer place to stay at than the one they're currently in, which is a house in a village isolated from the rest of the city. These characters all converge in the same place, so the earlier moments of the film, for example, might just be Bonin (yes), Tania and Zoe (the little girl) on their own, journeying in Bonin's truck, before they come to the house. There's also this old man and this boy who are off doing their own thing before they join the group. I will say this about the film and that it's got a very minimalist approach. There's not a real film score, per se. I mean there's some music, of course, but it adds an atmospheric approach to the proceedings. It never takes over a scene is what I'm trying to get at, it just complements it. Having said all of that, in spite of its very arty approach, there's nothing about this film that you haven't seen elsewhere and, quite frankly, done much better. The problem I have with this film is that, in my opinion, you don't really invest much in the characters. You don't get to know about who they were prior to the apocalypse or how they've changed since then. The only thing you can pick up on is that they're distrustful of people at first, particularly those with bites that may have come from those 'creatures'. But this is something that we've seen before and it's not really explored that in depth. I hate doing this, but it's the closest comparison point that I got, but what I really liked about Here Alone is that it explores the dynamic of how people were in the past versus how they change when faced with these circumstances. It's still very much about survival for these people, but it's also adjusting to the changes of the world that you now live in. Here Alone benefited from the fact that it focus on three strong characters and their relationship with each other was the driving force, not the horror and not the zombies. This movie doesn't have any of that, it doesn't explore how people adjust to this brand new and, honestly, really hostile world. The people have already adjusted. What we got as a result was, really, quite bland. Good, but bland. The film's tone is also a little off-putting, it's just got such a self-serious, languid tone. It moves at a snail's pace. Which is a little odd considering that there's tense scenes scattered throughout. What I mean is that, in between those scenes, it doesn't feel like anything is really happening. We're just killing time until the next big 'set piece' moment, if you can call it that. There's a few comedic moments, including one running joke that ends quite surprisingly to say the least, but the film just takes itself way too damn seriously. At least in my opinion, not saying it's right, not saying it's wrong, it's just how I see it. Having said that, it's not that you don't care for some of the characters here, it's just that they're completely one-dimensional. To me, again, the most interesting part of this type of setting is exploring how people were in the past versus how they have to be now. I think Celine, the badass with the machete, is the only character that gets to talk about her past and how she was the perfect woman, the way she was trained to be, her own words. But this is a small scene near the end of the film, it doesn't go that long. And perhaps not telling much of each person's past was by design, to make it so you don't focus about who they were, but in the situation that they were trying to escape. But, in trying to be subversive, you substituted the more interesting way to tell this story for the blandest, most boring way to do so. And when I say boring I mean that it's been done many times before, not that the actual content of the film is boring. Because, even having said all that I have said, I still found this to be a good horror movie. Again, the zombies feel like real threats, the acting is very strong. And the interplay between the characters, while not exploring new concepts or themes, is good enough. The cinematography is also really quite good. But I also find that it should have been a considerably better movie with a better script with actual story progression and stronger characters. So it's a good movie, but it's a good movie with many flaws and I'm not gonna not point them out. Don't really have much else to say about this. It's a good pickup for Netflix and a good movie in general with some great gore, but it just doesn't really do anything new or do much with its characters and its world to warrant a glowing recommendation. If Here Alone is still on Netflix, I'd recommend that over this one, but this is still a good watch if you've got some time to kill.
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