The Bloody Great Black Comedy of ‘Prevenge’


Near the opening of Prevenge (directed by Alice Lowe), a very pregnant Ruth enters a reptile shop and discusses the kinds of animals available. The shop owner’s behavior is unsettling — his passion for the creepy crawlies a little too enthusiastic — even when he sees he’s making Ruth uncomfortable. Without context, the viewer is left with the unsettling feeling that something awful is about to happen to this poor, flinching woman — then bam, the scene shifts into another direction entirely.

It’s a wonderful entry point into the film, as we quickly learn that Ruth is hearing the voice of her unborn daughter — and that voice is the one of rage, demanding blood and violence. Prevenge is an excellent black comedy, in which our heroine deftly deals out a series of brutal, vengeful deaths. Everything is shot and edited in such a way as to deliver excellent punchlines without loosing Ruth’s emotional thread, who is lost and disconnected from the people around her.


Prevenge is one of those movies in which the journey of how it was made is almost as great as the film itself. Lowe — who wrote, directed, and starred in the film — was six months pregnant when she received an opportunity to direct a low budget film. She poured all her frustrations about her career into the movie, putting together bloody revenge thriller. “Suddenly, you’re a mother and people think different about you and you don’t have control over your job anymore,” said Lowe. “All of this stuff, I was feeling fairly grim and dark about, and I just put it in this film.”

The film was scripted and shot on an expedited schedule (with only 11 days of filming) — and all while Lowe was still pregnant. So, the baby belly we see in the movie is Lowe’s real baby belly. Considering that it’s a miracle any movie gets made at all — especially one as fantastically fun as Prevenge — it’s thrilling to know that Lowe let nothing stop her from moving forward with her passion for making films.

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