RAW (Cannes Film Festival)

Every once in awhile a film comes along that seems to create just as much news about audience reactions than the movie itself. THE EXORCIST caused all kind of physical reactions for audiences in 1973, causing moviegoers even more fear before they even got into screenings. Fans at screenings of the original BLAIR WITCH PROJECT found themselves physically ill at the dawn of the shaky found footage subgenre. And most recently, reports came out during a screening of RAW during the Toronto International Film Festival that audiences not only vomited but passed out, resulting in the arrival paramedics.


Filmmakers often relish the almost urban legend status of films like that as ticket sales increase to see what all of the fuss is about. Sometimes incidents are even rumored to be staged by filmmakers to create rumors and news surrounding their films. It appears that this isn’t the cast for the cannibal horror film RAW, as many people tweeted about the incident they witnessed.

But a theater in Los Angeles has you covered, should you decide to risk your stomach contents by checking out the film. As reported in The Hollywood Reporter, the Nuart Theater has customized barf bags that are given out by an usher as moviegoers head into the theater as they are notified that that, due to the graphic nature and gore, viewers have fainted and vomited. Mark Valen, a film buyer with Landmark Theaters told THR:

“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.”

In fact, gags like that date back to the 50’s, when William Castle perfected the practice of involving audiences with flying skeletons, electrified theater seats, and “ghost viewers” during 13 GHOSTS, essentially 3D glasses that would allow audiences to see ghosts in the film. For many, it’s a lost art that separated the classics of the time from today.

RAW follows a vegetarian university student who is forced to consume raw meat during an initiation and finds that she develops an appetite for flesh that almost can’t be satiated. But there might be a reason she has this new hunger, but how many victims will there be before she discovers what that is?

RAW is already in select theaters. Will you try to check out RAW? Do you buy into the hype surrounding it? What was your worst reaction to a film in theaters?

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