Sightseers felt like a film in which Lowe and Oram took an inordinately black glee in depicting a certain kind of small-minded banality among the English middle-class and then slaughtering such peoples. You get the impression that a similar sense of glee fuelled Alice Lowe in the making of Prevenge. The victims range from a man in a pet shop who seems to turn everything he says about the animals into a crude innuendo; a self-absorbed DJ she meets at a 70s disco night who takes her back to his place denoted by the loathsomely ick moment where he drunkenly throws up in the cab home and then turns and kisses Lowe full on the mouth; a businesswoman who rejects Lowe from a job application because she is pregnant whose fate is determined just as much on the grounds as she has no life outside of work; a fitness fanatic who brushes Lowe off while she is collecting for charity door-to-door.
Alice Lowe has a biting sense of black humour. Be it she slitting Kate Dickies throat while commenting Its a cutthroat business, to some of the black deflations of the various characters we meet. Much of the film reads as a pregnant mother bleeding her petty day-to-day frustrations with the world around her onto the screenplay page in a kind of diabolical wish fulfilment fantasy. (Lowe was 7½ months pregnant when she made the film, writing the script around her pregnancy and shooting everything in eleven days). Lowe writes herself some very darkly funny lines deflating the rosily banal sentiments and earnest niceness of Jo Hartleys midwife and some even more unnerving voiceovers from the baby. As much as it is a film that is fuelled by a sense of black humour, it is also one that holds an almost comic everyday banality after despatching Tom Davis, his aging mother (Leila Hoffman) wanders out and comments that it will need bleach to get the blood out of the carpet, where Alice Lowes natural reaction is to tuck the old lady into bed, ask if she wants a hot chocolate and put the washing on before she leaves.
The connecting plot is fairly loose it is never clear why Ruth targets some of her victims, for instance. There is a minor backstory where she targets rock climbing instructor Kavyan Novak for killing her boyfriend but backs off doing anything twice, leaving it an unfulfilled plot strand until right at the end. Mostly, the film is driven by these set-pieces as Lowe encounters each victim and then despatches them.
(Screening Courtesy of the Rio Grind Festival)