Streaming Releases: M.F.A. (2017) - Reviewed

In an era in which college campus rapists are set free and the culture of forced sex has infiltrated many facets of life, M.F.A. comes along and spins a fiery web of vengeance and violence that pays tribute to classic revenge pieces like I Spit On Your Grave. With rich boy athletes like Brock Turner getting mild sentences and numerous other stories infiltrating our daily news cycles, M.F.A. is both timely and pertinent to the creation of a believable story. By never really glorifying the actions of the main character, the story feels realistic and timely. 

As a brutal examination of females put through the trials and tribulations of non-consensual sex and a court system that typically leans towards male innocence, this modern thriller captures the essence of how unbalanced our modern world really is. 

When art student Noelle comes under predatorial attack, she's dismissed by those around her. In the absence of any real sympathy, she finds new and cunning ways to dispatch multitudes of known frat boy offenders. The results are both cruel and satisfying, but never extremely gory or overdone. Like a feminist version of Dexter, the kills are quick but controlled. Her victims are dealt with as they deserved, each of them vanquished due to their horrendous crimes towards women.  

My dad talks to chairs. 

Francesca Eastwood (the daughter of Clint) stars as our main character. She slices, hammers, shocks, and violently ends the lives of sexual aggressors. Using a sharp story that feels relevant to the things we see on the news everyday, something is coldly satisfying about her first time out as a lead actress. Coming off a few other movies that tread into horror territory, Francesca finally feels like she's getting the chops to carry her own film. With M.F.A., she slithers through with confidence not seen from her before. 

If you can stomach scenes of violence towards women that put them in the crosshairs of rape and cruelty, I'd definitely suggest this as a weekend viewing. Fans of Ms. 45 or the classic I Spit on Your Grave will see many apparent similarities that keep those themes alive and well. Natalia Leite's second full length directorial effort is a quality product that turns Francesca into a star while she grinds out a contemporary story rife with tasty retribution. 

While this doesn't really qualify as straight laced horror, it rides a fine line that gets crossed in many areas.