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The Woman (2011)

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Genres:
Cannibal Film, Horror, Slasher Film
Director:
Lucky McKee Lucky McKee
Starring:
Pollyanna McIntosh Pollyanna McIntosh
Brandon Gerald Fuller Brandon Gerald Fuller
Lauren Ashley Carter Lauren Ashley Carter
Chris Krzykowski Chris Krzykowski
Sean Bridgers Sean Bridgers

6.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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A feral woman and last survivor of a cannibalistic tribe bathes wounded and vulnerable in a river, somewhere in the lush woods of Northeast coast where she used to roam free. The beast-like savage woman will seem as the perfect trophy to the eyes of Chris, a misogynistic lawyer, who will hunt the woman down and bring her home. However, is there a place for a feral, flesh-eating primitive among civilized people? In the days to come, Chris will make the woman his project, and like a proud predator kept in captivity, with the help of his dysfunctional family, he will attempt to domesticate the untamed female by breaking her will. Soon enough though, no restraints, no training, and certainly no male supremacy will be a match for the raging woman's raw and merciless aggression. --IMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 03, 2011
There are not a lot of solid American horror directors around these days; not really. The Wes Cravens and the John Carpenters of the world are not putting out their best material and filmmakers like Eli Roth and Adam Green are too narrowly focused on a very specific type of horror. Not so with Lucky McKee. He has been creating bold, inventive and original works since he broke out with the fantastic "May". His film "Red" which he co-directed was one of the best films of that year and "The Woods" is underrated as well. "The Woman" is his latest picture and it's something to behold - a stark, frightening and unrelenting assault on our sensibilities.

This film is about a family. Chris Cleek (Chris Bridgers) is a successful country lawyer who seems to have it all. His wife, Belle (Angela Bettis), respects her husband and runs the household. His son, Brian (Zach Rand), is dying for his father's affections and is constantly practicing his free throws. His daughter, Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter), is starting to date and has become somewhat introverted. Seems like a normal family. Even the dogs int he barn seem all too normal. But something is 'off'. You see - Chris is a violent man - a very violent man, and he has some odd ideas about the role women play in society. His wife is verbally and physically abused for no reason and is too afraid to say or do anything. His son is learning what being a man is from his father and taking on some nasty little habits of his own. And his daughter is actually pregnant but knows she cannot tell a soul.

Enter The Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), a wild girl who lives in the woods. We get the sense she might have actually been raised by wolves. She speaks her own language, hunts for her food, bathes naked in the river and has very little idea of the world outside her own. Chris spots her, captures her and chains her up in the family cellar. He tells his family he wants to 'tame' her and 'make her civilized' and everyone is incorporated to assist. Even their littlest child brings her radio out to the cellar door to play music for her. But, as you might imagine, The Woman does not want to be there. And, through scenes of terrifying intensity, we see just what Chris really wants her for and just why his family seems so odd on the outside.

This film is getting a lot of flack for being 'anti-woman'. Lucky McKee certainly does not shy away from the abuse and the derogatory terminology here. But I don't know that this film is anti-woman so much as it is anti-man. The men in this film are painted as ignorant, vicious monsters. We feel no pity for them and find ourselves wishing for their demise, sometimes even a child. Yes, the women are abused and treated violently, but the retribution that comes in the end (if you can call it that) feels earned and very sweet. I personally think Lucky McKee has made one of the finest women's-lib films of the past 20-years or so.

The performances here are rock solid. As The Woman, Pollyanna McIntosh says so much with rarely saying anything decipherable. She is just mesmerizing to watch. Chris Bridgers is equally effective as the father, and essentially the lead in the film. He is a terrifying creature and one of the most sinister and unrelenting villains I have ever seen in cinema. Bridgers fully realizes his character and makes him horribly memorable. Angela Bettis also deserves singling out as the down-trodden housewife. We feel bad for her yet we cannot ignore the fact that she is still playing along with all of this. She's an accomplice in these horrible events.

I thoroughly recommend "The Woman", especially to horror fans everywhere. Lucky McKee has crafted the best horror film of 2011 and one of the best in recent memory. It's a tough and brutal film to watch, but it really does send an important message and creates the kind of characters audiences will remember. McKee has a huge future in the film industry, and not just with horror. He has an eye for characters and for story and he proves with this film, as he did with "Red", that he can get phenomenal performances out of his people. "The Woman" is a must-see, if only to find out just how much you are willing to take. 10/10.
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blarc #1: blarc - added 01/04/2012, 06:28 PM
Not a bad movie. It is worth it. stay with it to the very end.
George Snow #2: George Snow - added 02/10/2012, 05:40 PM
I enjoyed this. I don't get why McKee is getting "woman hater" flak because all the characters are spot on. Personally, I think it's just their own publicity machine churning out the controversy.

What I didn't like about it was the scene/shot length and repetition of information. The opening which points out two plot points took 5 minutes.

This is another great character study (though not as good as MAY). Angela Bettis is magnificent as always. Sean Bridgers was great but kind of flat at points. The little daughter and son were excellent.

Chad #3: Chad - added 07/17/2012, 02:21 PM
Huge thumbs up. The ending when... well, you'll know... just put a huge smile on my face. You knew shit was about to go down, and I was not disappointed.
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