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THE WOMAN (2011) ****

A diabolical douchebag finds a feral woman living in the woods. He takes it upon himself to capture her, lock her in his shed, and with the help of his disbelieving family; he hopes to civilize her. It does not go well.

That plot description of course does not do this movie justice, but then again, The Woman is a film where the less you know about it, the better off you are. The way director Lucky McKee nonchalantly allows the horror to build is rather masterful. McKee is a guy who has a knack for female-centric horror. The Woman, like McKee’s May or his Masters of Horror episode, Sick Girl; is another powerful outing from one of the most idiosyncratic voices in modern horror.

The Woman is a totally disarming horror film. That’s mostly because of the matter of fact way McKee presents the horror. The look of the film is akin to a Lifetime Movie. Because of the mundane manner in which the movie is filmed, it makes you let your guard down. Then in the final act, McKee pummels the audience with sucker punch after sucker punch. Also, the indie folk rock soundtrack is effectively out of place. By replacing your standard issue horror soundtrack with something as unassuming as a Jack Johnson knockoff puts the audience off balance.

A lot of what makes the movie work is Sean Bridgers' performance as the psychotic patriarch of the family. It’s truly the stuff of nightmares. The casual way he commits blood-curdling atrocities puts you in the mind of Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Yes folks, he’s that good.

I do have to say that this movie is not fun to watch. McKee really puts you through the ringer. I can honestly tell you that I have no desire to watch it again anytime soon. It’s one of those rare movies like Deliverance where if you’ve seen it once, you don’t want to watch it again. I can’t say I “enjoyed” it, but I certainly admire the craftsmanship that went into it.

I’m going to tell you that overall, The Woman is not completely successful. Nitpicking the movie wouldn’t do a whole lot of good though. The fact is that this flick is just weird, eerie, offbeat, and original enough to make what qualms I had with it not amount to much. Just knowing that this flick left me fairly disturbed should be your cue to check it out ASAP.



( 4 comments — Comment )
May. 17th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
I loved it. :)

I guess the only thing that bugged me a little was the fact that there was a feral woman living in the woods .. I mean, are there any more??!!
May. 17th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Supposedly, there's a Jack Ketchum novel (sorry, forgot the title) that more or less explains The Woman's origins.
May. 18th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
Good review! Will have to check this out.
May. 18th, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
I can't say you'll "enjoy" it, but it's definitely a disturbing experience.
( 4 comments — Comment )


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