There are worse career paths than writing and starring in dark comedies about female serial killers, and that’s certainly the niche Alice Lowe is carving out after 2014’s Sightseers, with her directorial debut, Prevenge. Filmed while Lowe was pregnant, Ruth (played by Lowe) is an expectant single woman whose gestating passenger speaks to her. Specifically, it encourages her to kill an array of mostly horrible men. Some are of the deserving variety, such as sloppy, overweight club DJs who pass judgment on women for not being supermodels. (Extra points if they put “DJ” in front of their name, which is arguably grounds for summary execution.)
Others are less immediately obvious and may be related to a recurring image of a cut cord — the symbolism is a bit on-the-nose, it’s true — as Ruth’s sanity continues to unravel. (Oh, to be in the room when her daughter Della appears at the end of the film, outside of her mother’s womb — um, spoiler? — and old enough to watch Prevenge.) This film is droll and gory in a way that’s uniquely British, and while Edgar Wright isn’t an executive producer the way he was for Sightseers, it still has the spirit of a Wright production, and that’s a standard to which all violent comedies should aspire.
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.