Review of The Woman (2011)

13 Aug

The Woman (2011) is a horror/drama/comedy film, which is a sequel to the film Offspring.

Directed by Lucky McKee (The Woods (2006), Red (2008)).

Written by Jack Ketchum (The Girl Next Door (2007), Offspring (2009)) and Lucky McKee (Roman (2006), May (2002)).

Starring: Pollyanna McIntosh, Angela Bettis, Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Shyla Molhusen, Zach Rand and others.

We open up to some kind of BBQ party and this family is set up and right from the start you get this feeling, that something isn’t right with them, I didn’t get it at first, but as the movie goes on, it turns out, that the family is a collection of very unusual people. Not much happens, but there’s this incredible tension between the family members and you realise that they’re the kind of family that is totally dysfunctional, everyone knows it, but they try to pretend everything is normal.

One day the father goes hunting and sees this wild chick having a “bath” in the river and then suddenly rock music starts blasting as she takes a bite off of a raw fish. This is the moment where the movie first shows that it is actually a dark comedy. Of course, the father clears out an outdoors bomb-shelter/basement, goes back to the woods, captures the wild woman and chains her up in there. This is the moment where it becomes clear that the father is insane.

The woman bites off his finger, only mildly in pain, he responds “That is not civilized behavior.” and leaves to use some painkillers, which he has lying around. After composing himself he goes to punish the woman by punching her a couple of times and then shooting a shotgun right next to her head. They throw in a high-pitched noise, so we can enjoy her pain as well. If you might think he’s just this disturbed person, who wants to rape this woman or something, that’s only half the story, because he introduces her to his whole family. And since this guy is a complete fucking lunatic, the rest of the family is too intimidated to contact authorities. They have a pet woods-woman. And things only get crazier from here.

The movie has a really dark sense of humor, starting from the creepy characters to the upbeat indie music accompanying all the dark shit that’s going on. It is also a reversal of “hillbilly horror” sub-genre, where the backwards person is so uncivilized, it becomes the innocent, abused by the “normal” people. It takes a stab at the patriarchal family archetype taken to its limit. I’m not surprised that this is written by Jack Ketchum, watching this I was even reminded of The Girl Next Door, though, not as shocking, this is still an equally sick movie.

I really liked Angela Bettis’ performance as the mother of the family and the way the tied-up woman could be seen as a metaphor for her abusive marriage to her sociopath of a husband. I got goosebumps, when she finally snaps. Pollyanna McIntosh is impressive as the woman, it’s quite a demanding role.

The last 20 minutes are total madness, it’s one of the horrifyingly most entertaining climaxes of a horror flick I’ve seen recently, it throws in some twists and turns that are so unpredictable and twisted and crazy that your jaw drops and you don’t know if it’s scary or straight out funny in how over-the-top it is.

If you watch this, keep watching after the credits, because there’s a bizarre short semi-animated clip with the youngest daughter.

Overall, this might be one of the better horrors of 2011, although it’s more fun entertainment than dead-serious chills, the sick nature of it really makes it a curiously unsettling experience. Recommended.

“Oh, yeah, I’m making this douchebag face to hide my ‘I might rape a dead pregnant woman if I encountered one’ face. I’m fun like that.”

 

8 Responses to “Review of The Woman (2011)”

  1. Aloha Mister Hand August 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Excellent! I completely agree. This movie is magical, and I too got goosebumps when the mother finally grows a backbone, even though she’s taken down quickly. Too sad. And McIntosh’s performance is nothing short of pure brilliance! LOVE IT!

    • karlails August 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks, yeah, the mother is really unfortunate.

  2. chrisryanwrites August 14, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    Sounds like it is worth watching. Is this a Netflicks special, or isit harder to find?

    • karlails August 14, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Oh, I don’t know, I borrowed the DVD from a friend, but I think it should be on Netflix.

  3. Tysoncarter August 14, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    I’ve seen this twice now and both times I thought it was a poor movie. I gave it another go to see if I missed anything, but nope, just didn’t ‘get it’ obviously. Wasn’t keen on the ending either……Nice write up though buddy 🙂

    • karlails August 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks. Well, I guess, it’s a question of taste, I thought it was pretty cool, but I understand it’s not for everyone.

      • Tysoncarter August 15, 2012 at 10:36 am #

        I wanted to like it, thought it had a decent premise, but I guess things didn’t really add up for me. Scene with the finger for example………should of been way more painful! I liked The Girl Next Door, but this for me just felt exploitative and had zero redeeming qualities. But hey, maybe its just me. 🙂 I also didn’t see the original film so maybe had I seen that I would of known more about what to expect from ‘the woman’ and enjoy this sequel more.

        • karlails August 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

          I just didn’t think the movie was supposed to be taken as seriously as The Girl Next Door, which I thought was inferior to An American Crime anyway. I enjoyed it more like a demented comedy, so I didn’t find it exploitative.
          I haven’t seen the original either, I didn’t even know this was a sequel at the time of watching it.

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