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Grave (English title Raw) is a Franco-Belgian horror film released in 2017note  and the debut work of Julia Ducournau. It tells the story of Justine (Garrance Marillier), a 16 year old girl entering vet school, which her older sister Alex (Ella Rumpf) also attends. Like the rest of her family, she's a vegetarian. What she didn't know was that her new school had a long tradition of hazing the freshmen, which she finds quite unpleasant, unlike her roommate Adrien (Rabbah Naït Oufellah) who just goes with it uncaringly. It becomes even more unpleasant when all freshmen are ordered to eat a raw rabbit kidney.

From then on, something awakens within Justine, who will have to struggle with her new compulsive taste for meat, her growing attraction for her roommate (in more ways than one) and her own sister's dark secret…

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Has no connection whatsoever to the series Raw.


Tropes:

  • Body Horror: a source of a large part of the horrific elements of the film.
  • Bury Your Gays: Alex kills and partially eats Adrien offscreen.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Adrien's ski pole, which he is later stabbed with.
  • The Confidant: Adrien and Alex play this role in different ways for Justine. The former helps her to fit in, while the latter is the only one who knows about her "little problem".
  • Consuming Passion: The uncontrollable cannibalistic urges that arise after Justine is forced to eat meat are portrayed as sexual awakening.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Adrien shows this right off the bat, and throughout the film.
    Justine: You're a guy? But I asked for a female rommate.
    Adrien: Well, they got you a fag, same difference.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Darkly played with. Watching Adrien play a football game shirtless, Justine spends a looong time ogling his muscles, to the point of having a Nose Bleed. It's quite clear that she's struggling to not eat him more than figuratively.
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  • Environmental Symbolism: The vet school setting. A grey, decrepit environment full of wild students and animals (living or dead). It symbolised the awakening of Justine to her animal urges (sexual or diet-related).
  • Fan Disservice: None of the nude or sex scenes are particularly arousing, and in fact, are quite disgusting or disturbing.
  • Foreshadowing: The opening scene where Justine's mom lashes out on a restaurant employee for letting a meat ball slip into her daughter plate. She appears as a slightly obnoxious Straw Vegetarian, but... The Reveal shows that she has knowingly maintained her daughters on a very strict vegetarian diet because cannibalism is In the Blood. A second foreshadowing happens when Justine bites off the lip of a fellow student. It foreshadows the origin of her father's lip scar.
  • Fingore: Justine pushes Alex as the latter was handling scissors to cut her pubic hair, which results in a finger flying and Alex passing out. Justine doesn't find ice to preserve the finger while waiting for the doctors and can't resist the urge to eat it.
  • Gentle Giant: Adrien is very buff and has a bit of a foul mouth, but he's a very nice guy overall and greatly helps Justine to adapt amidst all the hazing.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Justine starts out just liking meat in general, but eating her sister's accidentally cut-off finger awakens her taste for human flesh. It turns out it's In the Blood.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Twice. Justine walks on Adrien getting a blow job and later on him watching porn. The second time, it results in them having sex.
  • I Taste Delicious: As she fights an urge to have a bite of Adrien's neck during sex, Justine settles on biting her own arm behind his back.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Justine eventually falls for Adrien, but he's openly gay. They do have sex together though, which he immediately regrets.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: All over the place, but especially in the sex scene between Justine and Adrien, where she repeatedly and aggressively tries to bite him, which he may or may not realize.
  • Killed Offscreen: Quicky, the sisters' dog, is implied to be put down (and later shown dead) after Alex claims that he was the one who ate her finger to cover for her sister.
  • Literal Maneater: Sort of, as all protagonists are human. However, cannibalistic urges are portrayed as purely sexual urges and only involve women preying on men.
  • Manly Gay: Adrien is muscular, snarky, abrasive, and makes no secret of his sexuality.
  • Pet the Dog: One of the most sadistic examples of this trope, if not THE most sadistic. Alex sees Justine eating her severed finger, but protects her, anyway, telling their parents that Quicky ate it. This move ends up getting Quicky put down.
  • Psychological Horror: Despite the theme, the use of gore in the film is not gratuitous. There is a heavy focus on Justine's internal turmoil and attempts to fight back her own nature, but also to adapt to her new environment as she's much younger than the other students.
  • The Reveal:
  • Single Tear: Alex sheds one after realizing that her sister is becoming like her and their mother.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Justine finds Alex half-catatonic after she killed and ate Adrien.
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: All of the students at the veterinary college belong a group that involves extensive hazing rituals, hierarchies of seniority, and frequent parties/drug raves/near-orgies. All of this seems to pervade practically every aspect of college life at the school.
  • Wild Teen Party: the college/vet school version. Expect an underground location, students getting heavily intoxicated, nudity and sex in the corners.

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