A film that had audiences squirming in their seats - and in some cases rushing to hospital - has debuted its first trailer, the Daily Mail reports.

Horror film Raw, from first-time writer-director Julia Ducournau, charts a young vegetarian veterinary student named Justine and her descent into cannibalism after she is forced to eat raw meat as part of an initiation ritual.

Some of the film's more graphically violent scenes caused a stir at a Toronto Film Festival screening this past September.

Several people who attended the Festival's midnight screening of the film were said to have fainted and required medical attention.


Ryan Werner, who was in charge of the movie's marketing in Toronto, told the Hollywood Reporter: "The film became too much for a couple patrons."

Ducournau described her film to Indiewire: "I want to hear this particular audience reacting. I want to see where they will be reacting. I am very curious. It's like being judged by my peers, because myself, I am a huge genre and horror buff."

The French film has garnered much acclaim on the festival circuit, winning the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The film stars Garance Marillier and it will debut on March 10 in the United States after its acquisition by Focus Features.

And for those who want an even more grisly taste of what to expect from the film - which has been given a hard R rating by the MPAA for aberrant behaviour, bloody and grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, language and drug use/partying - a red-band trailer was released too.

The explicit trailer shows more of what's in store for audiences - including blood splashing down on students, seeming animal cruelty, jars filled with raw meat and Justine violently itching herself.

One particularly gruesome scene shows a woman appear to stick a scissors between another woman's legs.

The film does not currently have a release date in New Zealand.