We are big fans of comedian Alice Lowe, having fallen in love with her in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers which she co-wrote with Steve Oram. She brings her dark deadpan humour to her directorial debut Prevenge, a gory tale of a woman seeking revenge for the death of her husband, the father of her unborn child. The twist here is that it isn’t grief spurring her on – instead it’s the voice of the baby she is carrying that issues murderous orders.
Seven months pregnant while shooting the film, Lowe plays Ruth, who at first glance seems pretty meek if a little passive aggressive. But as her first encounter with a pet shop owner soon reveals, this is a woman on a mission, dead set on killing everyone she believes responsible for her bereavement. Little by little, as Ruth tracks them down, the voice (not in her head but in her belly) gets more and more determined and the body count adds up.
Definitely not for the faint of heart, Prevenge also has plenty of laugh out loud moments, fantastic comedy set pieces and memorably eccentric characters (once you’ve met DJ Dan you’ll never forget him). Ruth also encounters moments of kindness and warmth along her warpath, which is just one of the reasons why British comedy horror can work even for the squeamish among you. With a great electro score by Brighton’s Toydrum and interwoven with clips from 1934 film Crime Without Passion, this is a rare beast – a very funny feminist horror film.