The Woman is not your ordinary horror movie. It explores the frail relationship between genders in a rather controversial way. And right away I must stand in defense of the events portrayed here. I do strongly believe that a large portion of the male population would do exactly the same as our lawyer here. The movie opens with a mysterious woman tending to her wounds near a river before we go back to civilization. We’re left with a mystery of who she is and what the fuck is going on.
Don’t worry, all will be revealed in just a few minutes. What follows is a tale of suffering, horror, and revenge. The Woman is a very visceral and at times disturbing horror movie. It’s also awfully close to all of those fucked up French movies like Martyrs or Inside. Although the story itself reminded me more of DeadGirl and An American Crime. It’s coming to us from Lucky McKee, who was behind another strange but more digestible movie, May. This is actually a stand-alone sequel to a 2009 movie Offspring and it’s based on a novel of the same name written by McKee and Jack Ketchum.
The Woman looks really good with excellent cinematography and practical effects. Effects that are pretty believable but you might come to regret them towards the end. Pollyanna McIntosh gave one hell of a performance as our lead character opposite of creepy Sean Bridgers. Do check her out in Let Us Prey, another cool movie. And you can always go back to the above-mentioned Offspring where she also stars as The Woman.
Chris Cleek is a successful country lawyer living with his idyllic family in an idyllic house. One of his main hobbies is hunting and on one of these hunting trips he will see something. Something that’s going to change his life completely. He will see a feral woman, wounded but strong, near a creek, tending to her wounds. And he will decide to help her…
I consider The Woman to be an indictment of not just these all-American family values but also religion and this sense that you’re better than others. And you can see how all of these elements fit together quite nicely. They strangely made me think of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and her arrival in that “perfect little town”. The pacing here is relentless and the story just keeps escalating and escalating. Finally, it ends in a very weird but still satisfying way. Also, you should know that there’s a sequel to this movie titled Darlin’.
Director: Lucky McKee
Writers: Jack Ketchum, Lucky McKee
Cast: Carlee Baker, Marcia Bennett, Sean Bridgers, Pollyanna McIntosh, Frank Olsen
Fun facts: Won Octopus d’Or at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival, for the best international feature film.