Monday, October 28, 2013

Horrors of October 2013 - The Woman (#28)

The Woman (2011)

Holy crap. An unstable family man captures a forest-dwelling feral woman, hoping to teach her the modern ways of American life. He brings his clan into the action, all of whom are ruled under his punishing thumb but, like his views and salacious ways, the males are given fairer treatment. Written by its director Lucky McKee and novelist Jack Ketchum, THE WOMAN bottles up all of the tension, hiding it away by paying more attention to the black comedy aspects, before it finally blows apart in a rushing surge of vicious terror and uncontrollable instincts. The finale is incredibly volatile, often stamping down hard on the viewer's expectations with an amazing series of delirious cuts and inhuman gore. Then bang, the music quickly mutes and all you have left is an idiosyncratic endnote. Make no mistake, this is great disturbing movie, as it goes under your skin and tortures your poor nerves into oblivion. It's also a pretty stellar feminist film though many will be too turned off to stomach the subtext when they're busy expunging their lunch. Next to McKee's direction, the acting is excellent; Pollyanna McIntosh pours herself into the titled character, never allowing any relief to show beyond unbridle fury. Sean Bridgers is terrifying with his repellent performance as the dad, barely raising his voice at anyone yet still chilling them to the core whenever he skips over their opinion. The actors playing the other family members expertly play their set emotions, whether it is fragile, tormented, callous, or just plain cute. The sole exception is Carlee Baker, who may be well-suited as a potential victim but laughably out of place as a school teacher. On the other hand, the music is the true biggest detriment to the movie. Sean Spillane developed a horrendous collection of excruciating garage rock songs that just take a dump on your ears in nearly every scene. If you can tolerate it, plus the film's sadistic glee in pushing your buttons, you'll come out dirty but still be blown away by it.


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