You don’t need to have a warped sense of humour to enjoy writer-director Alice Lowe’s gruesome black comedy, but it certainly helps. ‘Prevenge’ is nasty fun – like ‘Sightseers’, the caravanning caper that Lowe co-wrote and starred in. It exists in the same twisted world, where ordinary suburban dwellers in cardies turn out to be psychopathic serial killers.
In ‘Prevenge’, Lowe plays Ruth, a pregnant woman who’s convinced that her unborn baby girl is telling her to go on a killing spree (her baby’s voice sounds exactly like Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter). Ruth seems to be picking her victims at random – they include a sleazy ’70s DJ who voms into his Afro wig and a creepy pet shop owner. But slowly a link emerges.
Watching ‘Prevenge’ is like being trapped in a weirdy cheese-dream. Lowe channels the common anxieties women have about pregnancy (losing control of your body, the alien strangeness of a life growing inside you) into a sick, violent comedy. She shot the film in ten days while seven-and-a-half months pregnant herself, which makes her some kind of cinematic superhero. Perhaps understandably, it’s slightly scrappy and can feel a little like an overextended TV sketch in places. I laughed hard – feeling like a bit of a sicko – but you might find it plain nasty.