As director Julia Ducournau's Raw is seen by more and more people, it seems there has also been an increase in stories about the film's extreme content freaking audiences out. It's certainly not a new story that the cannibalistic coming-of-age story is making people a bit squeamish with all of the various methods of flesh consumption it displays, but the Nuart Theatre in LA is doing something completely novel when it comes to its handling of the film. As we've just found out, the Nuart is issuing barf bags warning ticket holders about the film they're about to watch after the theater dealt with people fainting and even vomiting.
Film buyer and programmer for the Nuart, Mark Valen, told The Hollywood Reporter that he was thrilled to hear that the theater was giving out custom made bags during screenings of Raw. Those bags clearly state that the film is full of graphic content that have left some audience members feeling unwell, and this stroke of marketing genius elicited the following response from Valen, as he recalled learning about its inception:
One of the staff at the Nuart took up the initiative to make the barf bags out of paper lunch bags. What a fun idea! I remember that used to be done with some horror releases in the 1970s.
The horror genre is full of gimmicks such as these that have been employed to bolster ticket sales and build the reputations of films such as Raw to almost mythic proportions. Legendary B-movie director William Castle loved to use tricks such as these, and even Alfred Hitchcock made sure that when Psycho was unveiling its mysteries to audiences across the country, no one would be seated after the picture had started. Even at the recently concluded SXSW, we heard a story about Pig, a horror film so twisted, it won't ever be seen again.
We can attest that Raw is definitely something that will trigger the more squeamish members of the audience into some uncomfortable feelings, as we have some writers who have seen the film and can confirm its gory glory. Even just watching the red band trailer for the film shows a picture of body horror and cannibalism that looks more realistic than some people may like, mixed in with a naked ambition to tell the story of a young woman going through some gruesome changes. Then again, if your film features a lead eating a piece of rather disgusting looking rabbit's liver in the first act, you can kind of guess where the rest of the movie is heading from there.
Raw is currently in limited release, with its platform slowly expanding over the coming weeks. Check your local listings, or contact your local theaters, to see if barf bag service is available in your area. You just might need it. In addition, to see what else is playing at the moment, check out the list.