Vanguard

Prevenge

Alice Lowe

Prevenge 01

Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of this pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child psychically spurs her on to murder.

Veteran British comedian Alice Lowe has given brilliant performances on both the big and small screens, ranging from the cult-hit TV show Garth Marenghi's Darkplace to Ben Wheatley's Sightseers (a highlight of at the 2012 Festival), which she also co-wrote. Lowe now makes her triple-threat debut as writer, director, and star with Prevenge, a uniquely edgy black comedy that mixes maternity and murder in a most unexpected way.

Ruth (Lowe) is seven months pregnant, and like many expecting mothers she believes that her baby is speaking to her through an inner voice — the only difference being that this particular tot is telling her to go on a killing spree. Still mourning the death of her husband just months before, Ruth allows her baby to coach her on murder techniques and push her onward in a quest to dispatch people who stand in her way, from a pet shop owner to a DJ to a lonely businesswoman. Through all the carnage, Ruth's bulging belly serves as a perfect alibi — after all, who would ever suspect a cold-blooded killer could be lurking behind the sweet, glowing visage of a visibly pregnant woman?

Lowe was over seven months pregnant herself while filming this post-feminist revenge film, which gives an extra edge to the bloody proceedings onscreen. No matter what women who have actually been through pregnancy could tell about the reality of the experience, motherhood is still a sainted and sentimentalized cornerstone of our society — which makes the idea that a mum-to-be could be an unrepentant mass murderer all the more darkly, devilishly humorous.

In what is both her directorial debut and her first (figurative) baby, Lowe slyly tests our preconceptions with a richly funny exploration of life, death, and the space in between.

COLIN GEDDES

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