Ruth (Alice Lowe, who also writes and directs) is 7 months pregnant and recently widowed. If that’s not enough stress in her life, she’s starting to hear the voice of her unborn daughter, and she’s telling her to set out on a murderous rampage. There seems to be a method to her madness though, and for anybody who stands in her way, it’s going to cost them their lives.
Prevenge (streaming on Shudder Canada beginning Friday, March 24, 2017) takes the subgenre of evil children movies to another level entirely, making its evil child one that hasn’t even been born yet. It’s a great twist on one of my favourite concepts in horror, but this is also a film that offers a much deeper meaning for anybody who happens to be a parent, and even more for women of the world who have carried their own child. Take it just as a horror film, and you’ll be delighted with some of the gruesome violence and very dark humour, but did a little deeper and you’ll find the fear that pregnancy and children can leave some individuals with.
While I’ve never had to experience the physical and emotional changes that come with being pregnant, I do have 2 children of my own, and there’s no denying that it’s a drastic change in your life. You’re a different person before and after having kids, and the changes can come as a bit of a shock at first. Taking that to extremes is the real highlight of Prevenge. Not only does it explore the changes that come with being pregnant, but it’s also a fascinating look at the lengths that parents will go to in order to protect their children. Ruth is very concerned that her child will be taken away from her because of any odd behaviour she may display. These directions are coming straight from her unborn child though, so she feels as if it’s the best course of action. Her need to make sure her baby is loved and protected take precedence over everything else.
There are other reasons why Ruth has embarked on this path of destruction, and as every little detail is revealed, viewers will start to question everything that is happening. Is Ruth actually hearing her unborn daughter’s voice, or has something snapped within her because of everything that’s happened? That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself. Getting to that final moment where you’ll come to a conclusion is a complete joy though.
Lowe is outstanding in her role, capturing the growing instability of Ruth perfectly. She’s also a huge smartass, and the way she pokes and mocks her victims before she kills them is darkly hilarious. Her pregnancy helps her out of these moments, as nobody wants to be insulting to a woman carrying a child. Either that, or they’re trying to get something from her, and don’t want to ruin their chance of getting what they want. A few sleazy men just want to have sex with her and a prospective employer doesn’t want it to look like they won’t hire her because she’s pregnant. People can be selfish, which is exactly what her child wants her to know. That should make it easier to rid the world of these people.
As things escalate, Ruth becomes quite good at murder, but she also becomes a bit sloppy. Her overconfidence with how she’s been getting away with everything starts to affect how she handles herself, leading up to a visually exciting finale that will hopefully answer your questions about who is really in charge of Ruth.
With a story that slowly reveals itself, an idea that is so completely unique, and enough gore and comedy to please horror fans, you don’t want to miss out on Prevenge. It premieres exclusively on Shudder beginning Friday, March 24, 2017. Check their website for more information.