“Mummy, I want a Playstation. Mummy, I want you to go kill that man”

Parenting is tough as your offspring are always making ludicrous demands there are always ludicrous demands spawning from your offspring on an almost daily basis. I remember being an absolute pain whenever I went into CEX by putting Sega Dreamcast games in my Dad’s hand and then staring him downuntil he ultimately put them back or sometimes bought them (sorry Dad, that was unacceptable). Alice Lowe has a different problem, though, as the offspring causing her mental duress is revenge-obsessed. Oh, and unborn. Or so we are led to believe...

Written and directed by Alice Lowe (co-writer of Sightseers), Prevenge takes an askew look at motherhood and all the emotions evoked over the 9 month battle with personal issues. Should revenge killing be an outlet when pregnant? Probably not, but it’s a valid insight—albeit an extreme version.

Lowe is brilliant as Ruth as she constantly conveys a sense of her character not being "able’" to carry out the ruthless violence. She’s pregnant, so there’s no way she’ll be able to finish anyone off, right? Wrong. Looking helpless doesn’t always mean that the individual is that. Take every serial killer for instance—they’ll always find a way to lull in their prey. In Prevenge, that lull, is the fact she is pregnant. Do you stand up to allow a pregnant lady to sit on the tube? Of course you do. Do you look at pregnant women different to others in society? Sure thing. It’s this global mindset that Lowe exploits perfectly to the surprise of the audience and the supporting characters. There’s a scene where Ruth gets punched in the stomach, a moment that caused the audience to gasp. The shocking realisation here is that the same audience didn’t gasp at the attackers upcoming demise.

Alice Lowe Prevenge

On the topic of the support, there was a chance for Ruth’s victims to be forgetful or throwaway, somewhat like the teens in a cheap slasher. Prevenge and Lowe think otherwise as each turn from the supporting cast is as memorable as Lowe’s. Tom David (who we are soon to see in Free Fire) has a masterful role as DJ Dan, a self-proclaimed "FunBus" who spins 70s tracks in the local pub. Gemma Whelan is a fitness freak with a strong aversion to concern for charity workers. Both of them (as well as Kayvan Novan and Kate Dickie) only have about five minutes of screen time but they are amazing five minutes.

But even blood thirsty fetuses meet with resistance. In Prevenge, it's in the form of Ruth's midwife, played by Jo Hartley. Primarily tasked with being Ruth’s midwife, Hartley ends up acting as her conscience, a moral compass as Ruth struggles to deal with the decisions she’s made. It breaks up the carnage perfectly and brings the viewer back down to earth and, yet again, to the realisation that we are dealing with a pregnant woman.

Prevenge is balls-out violent so it’s not for the faint-hearted but its gruesome nature is (in wrestling terms) put over, by the humour that takes place surrounding each kill. It’s been a while since a dark-comedy had me chuckling at the killer doing laundry and asking if an older lady fancies a hot chocolate whilst concealing the murder weapon.

Get out and see Prevenge when it lands in cinemas.