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‘The Retreat’ Review: A Gory Lesbian Slasher, Subversive in Ways You Might Not Expect

‘The Retreat’ Review: A Gory Lesbian Slasher, Subversive in Ways You Might Not Expect

The broad strokes are familiar: a couple dealing with emotional strife goes away for a weekend, lands at a rustic/terrifying cabin, and finds themselves at the mercy of murderous freaks. The basic plot of Pat Mills’ “The Retreat” is so basic that it helped frame the tongue-in-cheek “Cabin in the Woods,” which itself unpacked and poked fun at all manner of horror tropes. Mills’ film, which screenwriter Alyson Richards loosely based on her own cabin-in-the-woods experience, attempts to subvert that setup by centering it around a lesbian couple.

Seeing a pair of women (Tommie-Amber Pirie and Sarah Allen) occupy roles usually owned by straight couples, and bolstered by a plot that hinges on their sexuality, is its own kind of subversion. However, the real twist of “The Retreat” goes beyond that. What if, “The Retreat” wonders, they weren’t just a lesbian couple but a pair of women hellbent

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