Raw Cut is an admirable calling card from director Zoe Quist, helming her second solo feature film. (Her other, Mining for Ruby, is being simultaneously released on VOD.) Bickering, financially troubled couple Amanda (C. Ashleigh Caldwell) and Jack (Christopher Soren Kelly) travel deep into darkest Wyoming, where their old college buddy–turned–wealthy financier Adam (Daniel Ponickly) has invited them to spend a week in his new vacation home — and to meet his enigmatic new fiancé, Stephanie (Quist), who recruits them for her “thesis film,” a found-footage slasher movie. Like many microbudget horror movies of the 1970s and '80s, Raw Cut is mostly buildup for the first two acts, and were it not for the unnerving score, which frequently recalls Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks work, it would be easy at times to forget that Raw Cut isn’t simply an indie about Gen Xers coming to terms with the disillusionments of adulthood. And there is a lot of that, at least, until shit gets real in the third act, and Quist starts coming into her own as both director and actor. The technical seams occasionally show, but the performances are strong and the direction is assured. Raw Cut demonstrates that Zoe Quist is a talent to watch.
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