Prevenge (2016)

Prevenge is a darkly funny directorial debut for Alice Lowe, who also stars as a pregnant serial killer.

Oh, Baby

by Alexa Dalby


CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Alice Lowe has written and directed her first film and it’s a very funny black comedy in the Sightseers vein. She also stars as the heavily pregnant serial killer central character, while at the time being seven months pregnant herself. As the patronising doctor (Jo Hartley, Eddie the Eagle) tells her at her routine checkups, she’s no longer in control of her body or her mind, and in fact she thinks she hears the voice of her unborn daughter telling her to kill. At first her victims are disgusting men – a pervy pet shop owner (Dan Renton Skinner,One Crazy Thing), a loser DJ (Tom Davis, Free Fire) who tells her he likes “fat birds” – and at first ridding the world of men seems to be her motive. But as her killing spree continues, the next victim is a woman (Kate Dickie, Couple in a Hole), and the story behind her single parenthood is gradually revealed a little more with each increasingly efficient execution (Mike Wozniak and Tom Meeton). We see her doubts about what she is doing start to emerge along with the reasons for her grief.

In between the killings we see her rewatching on TV the surreal Three Furies sequence from cult 1934 pre-noir Crime Without Passion. There’s an atmospheric electronic score by Toydrum, who also worked on London Fields. An emotional crisis comes at Halloween, at a party she attends where despite her full, grotesque ghoulish costume and make-up she is recognised by the host (Kayvan Novak. Paddington.

Prevenge is a really impressive debut. Lowe has created a uniquely quirky filmmaking niche and it’s a film that could only have been made with a woman’s sensibility with its underlying theme of the fear that expecting a baby means that there’s been a “hostile takeover” of her body.

Prevenge premiered at the 60th BFI London Film Festival and is released on 10 February 2017 in the UK.

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