About this time every year, there’s a festival horror hit that breaks out with big buzz, but the biggest buzz of all usually pops up when a soft-hearted patron or two who just can’t stomach the gore. Such is the case with the Midnight Madness cannibal film Raw, which proved too intense for some TIFF moviegoers earlier this week when a screening ended in a call to the local paramedics.
THR reports that an ambulance was called the Midnight Madness screening after multiple audience members fainted in the midst of the body horror and bloodshed.
Ryan Werner, the film’s marketing rep at TIFF, spoke about the incident, telling reporters, “An ambulance had to be called to the scene as the film became too much for a couple patrons.” Werner also noted that he’s only seen that type of physical reaction before with Antichrist, Lars von Trier‘s infamous 2009 tale of lust, decay, and genital mutilation.
The French-language cannibal film comes from first-time feature director Julia Ducournau. Described as part coming-of-age bonding story between sisters, part gory gross-out horror, Raw follows a 16-year-old girl who enrolls at a veterinary college where she confronts the school’s brutal hazing rituals. A strict vegetarian, she’s pressured into eating a raw rabbit liver, after which she begins a slow transition into cannibalism.
The movie scored the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize in May at the Cannes Film Festival and is set to screen at Fantastic Fest, Mayhem Film Festival, Celluloid Screams, Beyond Fest and the Sitges Film Festival. Focus Features snatched up the distribution rights to the film back in May and according to THR, the film’s TIFF screening was mobbed and had top agents and managers in attendance scouting out debut director Julia Ducournau who is unsigned at the moment.
No word yet on when Raw lands in US theaters but for now, you can watch a clip from the film below.