Film Review – Ravage (2019)

Deeply distressing, impactful opening credits accompanied with a daunting pounding score, followed by a beautiful shot of a character silhouette walking towards the camera sets the wild tone of what’s to come through, Ravage.

Not quite Deliverance (1972) or Southern Comfort (1981) or even, Wrong Turn (2003) but combines elements from all three with a powerhouse, mostly solo performance from a dynamic lead.

We are introduced to nature photographer, Harper (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) wrapped in bandages barely able to communicate from her hospital bed whilst being questioned by police about previous events that got her to this, almost fatal point.

Flashbacks reveal Harper hearing noise whilst floating down a river in a canoe.

Getting out to investigate on shore, she spots from afar an incident of hillbilly hell with whip cracking torture being committed.

Instead of leaving immediately, Harper takes quick snaps before getting successfully to the nearby town to report the crime to authorities. Bad move.

Suddenly outside the Sherriff’s office, her vehicle is literally towed with Harper inside back to a remote farm where she is held captive by the very same backward whip wielding yokels who begin to brutally hurt her, for fun.

It will take a certain strong-willed audience to keep watching, however, Harper escapes barefoot and goes commando to survive then exact revenge.

Isolated natural surrounds and sounds, is beautiful forest habitat, then in contrast the amount of screaming at times rivals Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).

Tenaciously talented Dexter-Jones (Ava’s Possessions, Under the Silver Lake) makes an unbelievable visceral mark on this role as Harper, going John J. Rambo in the woods and believable going through some of the most upsetting incidents you’ll see. Including a finale involving a cow. Visions of dead animals may affect viewers.

Legendary Bruce Dern, in a piercing cameo as a bourbon drinking mystery man, conveniently with no intention to offer Harper help.

If you are so inclined to get the complete end (sort of) to events, stay on through the end credits for a fade-out conclusion.

Horror, Thriller | USA, 2019 | 18 | Digital HD | Signature Entertainment | Dir.Teddy Grennan | Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Robert Longstreet, Bruce Dern

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