Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Matthew A. Brown
Cast: Ashley C. Williams, Ryan Cooper, Brad Koed
Who doesn’t love a good revenge story? Better yet, who doesn’t love a good revenge story with a little genital mutilation? We’re certainly game!
We’re not out to drop too many spoilers for Matthew A. Brown’s new shocker, Julia, but we are here to tell you that when it comes to retaliation tales, Julia gets it pretty right. The story focuses on the titular character who, after being drugged and raped by a few socialite pricks finds herself in a strange position: she’s offered the knowledge and power to exact a brutal brand of revenge. After struggling with trepidation she does just that, and the film feels as though it relishes in the animalistic execution of man.
The viewer never once feels sympathy for these scumbags, either. Some assholes have it coming to ‘em.
Aesthetically speaking the picture is clean, with a few avant garde techniques put to work. Those outside of the box tactics pay off, but they’re not crucial pieces of the puzzle. The film instead relies on human vulnerability and buried rage – two things most of us have experienced at some point in time – to leave viewers grimacing. And to Brown’s (who also writes) credit, he understands the power of susceptibility and the human condition. We’re flawed specimens who make good calls and bad, choose proper paths and improper paths. Brown thoroughly explores those aspects of life and it pays off.
We get some solid gore from the flick, Ashley C. Williams does an excellent job of fronting the picture and a few of the villainous bastards who set poor Julia’s life into a spiral (namely Ryan Cooper and Brad Koed, who are equally dislikable for very different reasons) really shine. The pacing is great and the picture’s focal subplot is interesting in an almost Eyes Wide Shut kind of way. Again, the mashup of diverse emotional exploration and savage violence comes together in surprisingly cohesive fashion.
All in all, Julia is both gratifying and unforgiving, taking vengeance to discomforting levels. Is it worth a watch? You bet your ass it is!