Following its debut at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, one of the most anticipated films of last year was Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, but despite the excitement that built up over subsequent months, the film only just barely managed to score a 2020 release date, as it was released in theaters on December 25th. Given the coronavirus pandemic seeing most theaters across the country still closed or operating at a reduced capacity, many audiences weren’t able to check out the film, though it has since earned a premiere date On Demand. Promising Young Woman will be available on VOD on January 15th.
From visionary director Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve) comes a delicious new take on revenge. Everyone said Cassie (Carey Mulligan) was a promising young woman… until a mysterious event abruptly derailed her future. But nothing in Cassie’s life is what it appears to be: she’s wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she’s living a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs of the past in this thrilling and wildly entertaining story.
In addition to ComicBook.com naming it one of the 10 best horror films of 2020, it also earned a 5 out of 5 rating, as it is praised, “Fennell and Mulligan have found perfect foils in one another, with Promising Young Woman hopefully kicking off a series of collaborations, as it proves they are both complete powerhouses. Horror fans who prefer broader and more blatant discomfort might feel frustrated with this ‘revenge thriller,’ all while the rest of us are given a rich, nuanced, delicate, and inspiring experience. This meticulously crafted and harrowing journey makes for one of the year’s best films of any genre.”
The praise for the film was widespread, as the aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes calculates 92% of its more than 200 reviews as positive.
While the film has plenty of heart and humor, it’s ultimately an unsettling experience, which is exactly what Fennell aimed to capture.
“I grew up in a world where, in movies, it was normal to see men getting girls drunk to sleep with them or girls waking up not knowing what has happened the night before and going on a ‘walk of shame,’” Fennell shared with Yahoo Entertainment. “It was just part of the culture. It was always troubling to me, but now that I’m older I’ve become much more aware of how it was totally normalized on screen. Boys were completely protected, and the girls were just expected to shut up or laugh it off.”
She continued, “I’ve always been interested in why good people do bad things and what happens when people who think they’re good realize they’re bad. It’s kind of what Cassie is out to prove. Her journey is much more troubling, in many ways, from the traditional violent revenge genre. She’s confronting the people in her life with the worst thing, which is waking up thinking they’re good and they’re not. They’re actually really bad—and she’s going to show them why. That’s horrifying.”
Promising Young Woman is currently in select theaters and hits VOD on January 15th. Head to www.watchpromisingyoungwoman.com for more information.
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