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Film / Revenge (2017)

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Revenge is a 2017 French rape and revenge action horror film written and directed by Coralie Fargeat, and starring Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe and Guillaume Bouchède.

Jen is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend which is suddenly disrupted when his sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. Tension mounts in the house until the situation abruptly––and viciously––intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, Jen survives and reemerges with a relentless, wrathful intent: revenge!


Revenge contains examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: The skimpy dress that Jen wears to Richard's party with his buddies has a neckline that plunges almost to her navel.
  • Agony of the Feet: When Jen is being chased by Stan on the mountain trail, she smashes the lens of her flashlight and scatters the broken glass on the ground where Stan steps on it with his bare foot, driving the glass shards deep into the sole of his foot. Jen herself surprisingly averts such a fate despite spending the entire plot past her rape running barefooted through a blazing desert.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Of the three male characters in the film, one is cheating on his wife with a beautfiful young woman, the second rapes her first chance he gets, and the third lets it happen and then gleefully helps cover it up. The latter two also spend nearly their entire screentime before the rape doing nothing but ogle the female lead.
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  • Anti-Hero: Deconstructed, unlike a majority of rape-revenge movies, where the protagonist is portrayed as innocent and virginal for sympathy, Jen is openly promiscuous, knowingly has an affair with a married man, and she desires to get noticed in Hollywood. Coralie Fargeat emphasises that sexual assault is still the worst thing anyone can go through, and promiscuity is not a valid excuse in any way for raping someone.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Let's just say that, from a medical point of view, very little of what happens to the characters after Jen's rape makes scientific sense.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Dimi has Jen dead to rights when her attempt to sneak up on him fails, but instead of just killing her then and there, he can't resist toying with her first, complete with lengthy Evil Gloating. It gives Jen enough time to grab his hunting knife and perform some impromptu eye surgery on him.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Stan dies.
  • Camping a Crapper: Jen is stalking Dimi around the lake, and when he stops to take a piss, she sneaks up and steals the rifle he puts down. However, Dimi is smarter than he looks and this is actually a trap he has set for Jen, and the rifle is unloaded.
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: When Richard returns to the house after searching the desert for Jen, he takes his shotgun with him when he goes to take a shower. Justified as he knows that Jen is still out there and hunting for him.
  • Car Fu: On seeing Jen standing in the middle of a narrow mountain track, Stan attempts to run her down with his Range Rover. Bad move.
  • Cat Scare: Richard sits down on the couch only to leap to his feet in fright as the television comes on deafeningly loud. He nervously scouts all round the lounge room before realising he had sat on the remote control.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The peyote the pilot gives Richard when they land at the house. Jen later uses it to kill the pain when she performs Self-Surgery.
  • Closed Circle: Richard's holiday home is in the middle of the desert. Richard and Jen arrive there by helicopter, which leaves and won't be returning for 48 hours. The house has a satellite phone and a radio, but by the time Jen is in trouble, she cannot access them, and the only all-terrain vehicles are controlled by the men hunting her.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Richard drops an atomic one when he's forced to realize that his buddies have fallen victim to Jen's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Contrived Coincidence: At least twice.
    • After Dimi is killed in the middle of a river that flows through the middle of a forsaken desert, his corpse just happens to resurface exactly where Stan is relieving himself at the riverbank miles away, at the exact same moment.
    • When Jen is chasing Stan while he's driving his car, he's forced to stop and refuel just as she was about to lose him.
  • Dead Animal Warning: Not so much a warning as a perverse practical joke, but Richard wakes up the sleeping Stan by flinging a dead cat on to the windscreen of his car. Stan understandably screams as he awakens to a thump and blood splattered across his windscreen.
  • Destroy the Evidence: After pushing Jen off the cliff, Richard returns to his house and burns all of her personal belongings, removing any trace that she was ever there.
  • Dramatic Drop: Jen is walking slowly through the lounge room with a cold glass in her hand when she turns and sees the two threatening looking hunters leering at her through the glass wall. She gasps and drops the glass which shatters on the floor.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Jen has an absolutely vicious one with so many layers that Dom Cobb would turn green with envy, courtesy of a really bad peyote trip.
  • Dumb Blonde: This is more or less how Jen is introduced. She's a helluva lot more competent than anyone expects, though.
  • Ear Ache: One of the men gets behind the heroine and shoots her in the head with a high-powered rifle. However we then see the shot took off an earlobe instead of killing her.
  • Evil Redhead: Main antagonist Richard had reddish-brown hair and a lot of freckles.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film takes place over one weekend.
  • Eye Scream: When Dimi is attempting to drown Jen in the lake, Jen manages to snatch his hunting knife from its sheath without him noticing. She then punches the blade into each of his eye sockets, leaving it in the second one.
  • Fakeout Escape: Richard lays a false blood trail across the carpet to make it look like he left the house via the sliding door to lure Jen out of hiding to pursue him. Unfortunately for him, the blood trickling from his wound gives away his hiding spot before Jen falls for his decoy.
  • Fat Bastard: Dimi is overweight and arguably the most sadistic of the three bad guys.
  • Feminist Fantasy: General consensus about this film is that it gives its exploitation genre a decidedly feminist spin, with some critics calling it "the bloodiest, most violent contribution to the #MeToo movement". Case in point: this is one of the very few movies where the male main character is shown completely naked from the front while the female lead is only ever seen very briefly topless.
  • French Jerk: The antagonists are a trio of French men guilty of, or at least complicit in, rape and attempted murder of an innocent young woman. The viewer is reminded of it constantly when they open their mouths due to either their heavily accented English or their talking among each other exclusively in French.
  • From Dress to Dressing: After being shot in the shoulder by Jen, Stan uses his sock as a tourniquet to stanch the bleeding.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Jen goes from some wealthy asshole's arm candy to avenging angel who leaves nothing but oceans of blood in her wake.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When Richard hears a noise, he step out of the shower and picks up his shotgun to go hunting for Jen. He never gets a chance to get dressed, and goes through the final game of cat-and-mouse and shootout completely naked.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Jen's ordeal leaves her with heavy burn scars on her back and stomach, with the latter taking the shape of a stylized phoenix. They do remarkably little to detract from her beauty and just make her look unspeakably badass instead.
  • Gorn: Oh my... don't watch this movie if you have a weak stomach, okay?
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Although the film pulls no punches elsewhere in terms of graphic violence, Stan taking a shotgun blast to the face through his car's windshield isn't directly shown, and even the aftermath is shot in a way that makes it difficult to make out any details.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Dimi eats some sort of gooey marshmallow treat in disgusting close-up slo-mo as Stan prepares to rape Jen, cementing what a gross human being he is in general.
  • Guile Hero: For someone who initially comes across as a shallow blond cutie, Jen shows remarkable resourcefulness and quick thinking in an extremely traumatic situation she is unlikely to have any experience with.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: When Stan walks in on Jen as she is changing, she hurriedly covers her boobs with her arms.
  • Heal It with Fire: Jen heals her injuries by cutting open and flattening an aluminum beer can, holding it over the fire and then pressing it against her wound. In doing so she inadvertently brands the beer can's logo on her flesh, which happens to be The Phoenix.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Richard shoves Jen off a cliff, and she is impaled on a scrubby tree on the floor of the canyon.
  • It's All About Me: When Richard goes to talk to Jen after Stan raped her, he has the audacity to ask her to think about what it would do to him if she doesn't keep quiet about it. Unsurprisingly, she doesn't take it well.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: When Dimi stops to take a piss, he leaves his rifle propped against a rock. Jen sneaks in and grabs the rifle. However, when she attempts to shoot him, she discovers the rifle is unloaded. Dimi is too experienced a hunter to leave a loaded rifle lying around unattended, and he was actually using the rifle as bait to lure her out of hiding.
  • Kick the Dog: As if raping and attempting to murder a young woman wasn't despicable enough already, Stan can't resist aiming for a passing spider while he's taking a leak in the desert, keeping the stream on it until the helpless animal is completely buried under suffocating mud.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted, as recoil is portrayed fairly realistically. In particular, the first time Jen fires Dimi's Mossberg 590 shotgun, she is completely unprepared for the recoil and it knocks her flat on her ass. The shot goes wild and wings Stan in the shoulder, rather than hitting him in the headnote .
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The movie ends with Jen suddenly turning around to look directly at the camera right before the credits roll.
  • Left for Dead: Richard shoves Jen off a cliff, and she is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on a tree on the floor of the canyon. Assuming she is dead, the trio go on their hunting trip and plan to return that evening and dispose of her body. However, when they get back, Jen is not there.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Stan tries to talk Richard out of doing this, saying that, when you're lost in the woods, you're supposed to stick with your partner. Richard responds that they're not lost in a forest, so he splits up anyway.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Richard's schlong can be clearly seen multiple times near the beginning and the end of the film. There's actually more explicit male nudity in the film than there is female, with Jen never showing more than briefly topless.
  • Male Gaze: From the moment Dimi and Stan are introduced to Jen, all they can do is stare at her scantily clad beauty. In fact, during at least half of the first 15 minutes of the film's runtime, the camera focuses exclusively on Jen's butt. Dimi also spends an entire scene gawking at Jen's lips through his binoculars although she's merely sitting on the opposite side of the table.
  • Minimalist Cast: The film has four main characters (Jen, Richard, Stan and Dimi), one very minor support character (Richard's helicopter pilot), and Richard's wife, who's only heard on the phone a few times. That's it.
  • The Mistress: Jen is the mistress to the wealthy Richard. Richard claims he is only staying with his wife because of the children. However, after Jen is raped by Richard's friend Stan, Jen threatens to tell his wife what is going on if he does not resolve the situation. Richard then demonstrates that he has no intention of leaving his wife, and decides that Murder Is the Best Solution to get Jen out of the picture.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The first 15 minutes or so are little more than an extended demonstration of how ridiculously beautiful Jen is, with copious amounts of Male Gaze, Erotic Eating and sexy dancing. It works well to make what follows all the more horrifying.
  • Mushroom Samba: Jen takes a peyote bud as an anesthetic to kill the pain while she conducts Self-Surgery. However, in the aftermath, she experiences a series of hallucinations, including a sequence where she seemingly wakes up only to be shot in the head by Richard, only to wake up again and have the sequence repeat.
  • No Full Name Given: The characters' family names are never mentioned.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The expression on the faces of Richard, Stan and Dimi says it all when they return to the canyon to dispose of Jen's body and look over the edge of the cliff and discover that the body is no longer there.
    • Richard gets another one during the final showdown when Jen gets her shotgun back, points it at his chest and chambers it, leaving him about a second to realize how royally screwed he is.
  • The Oner: There is a six-minute tracking shot that follows Richard as he walks from the couch to his bedroom, strips naked, takes a shower, hears a noise, retrieves his shotgun, and then prowls the house and the pool area in search of Jen. The long take is useful as it establishes the exact layout of the corridors where Richard and Jen will later be playing cat-and-mouse.
  • One-Word Title
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Jen's full name is Jennifer, but the only time it is used is when Richard introduces her to his buddies. Apart from that, everyone just calls her Jen.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Everyone who is wounded loses a huge amount of blood. The film features so much blood that, according to director Coralie Fargeat, the prop team would often run out of fake blood. Jen should have bled out somewhere between the canyon and the lake, judging from the Trail of Blood her pursuers follow. Richard is even worse. While playing cat-and-mouse with Jen in the house, he loses so much blood that it pools deeply on the wooden floor and makes it impossible for Jen to maintain her footing in the corridor.
  • The Phoenix: The heroine has been Left for Dead by the villains, and Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on a tree, but escapes but setting fire to the tree so that it eventually breaks under her weight. Later she heals her injuries by cutting open and flattening an aluminum beer can, holding it over the fire and then pressing it against her wound. In doing so she inadvertently brands the beer can's logo on her flesh, which happens to be a phoenix.
  • Pink Is Erotic: The movie has a pink neon title and the sexually confident and promiscuous Jen is shown wearing pink or being associated with pink.
  • Pistol-Whipping: After Jen walks into his trap, Dimi smashes his rifle butt down on her head. When she awakes, he is attempting to drown her in the lake. Richard does something very similar during the finale.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: After seeing Jen's body gone and concluding she's still alive, Stan panics and suggests that they should get Jen medical attention and contact their lawyers to cover everything up. Richard shoots him down, stating that there are three of them, who are armed, while Jen is by herself and heavily wounded.
  • Rape and Revenge: Jen is raped by Stan, and then Richard attempts to buy her silence. When she refuses, he pushes her off a cliff and leaves her for dead. Jen survives the fall and comes back seeking revenge.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The moment Richard returns to his villa after Stan and Dimi have been killed by Jen, he calls his helicopter pilot for an immediate pickup, which is scheduled to arrive 30 minutes later. Fortunately, Jen catches up with him before he can escape her vengeance.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Or in this case, Matilda Lutz Is About To Ruin Your Day With a Pimped-Out Shotgun.
  • Self-Surgery: Jen uses a hunting knife to cut out the broken branch that is stuck through her abdomen, and then uses a heated aluminum can to cauterize the wound. Stan later uses nothing but his fingers to dig a glass shard out of his foot.
  • Smash to Black: Jen suffers this at least twice.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Stan finds Jen walking along a narrow mountain track and attempts to run her down. Jen misses twice with her shotgun but then puts a perfect shot through the windscreen and straight through his forehead.
  • Trail of Blood: This happens on three occasions. The first time, the villains follow Jen's blood trail from the canyon to the lake, where she loses them by entering the water. In the other two, Jen gets in the first shot, then follows the blood trail only to find the man has doubled back and is waiting in ambush. The first time she only survives because he's been shot in the shoulder and can't aim properly. The second time she's more wary and sees the blood flowing from where he's concealed himself behind the doorway, despite a clear blood trail leading across the room to the window.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Jen is gorgeous by conventional standards even with, or maybe also because of, her messy hairdo. However, over the course her ordeal, she is transformed into a completely different kind of beauty. Her blonde hair is dyed black by blood and dirt, as are her clothes, and she becomes a savage goddess of retribution.
  • The Voice: Richard's wife only appears as a voice on the phone: calling her husband while he is away with his mistress.
  • Wall Bang Her: In a non-consensual version, Jen is raped up against a window by Stan.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: We're never explicitly told where the events of the film are taking place; all we're shown is that it's a remote desert region (the film was shot in Morocco).
  • Worst Aid: Kids, if you happen to find yourself impaled all the way through on a tree branch, do not pull it out. And don't even think about trying to copy that cauterization stunt with a camp fire and a beer can.
  • Your Head Asplode: Jen suffers this at least twice, courtesy of point-blank shotgun blasts to the face. Fortunately for her, it was All Just A Bad Peyote Trip.