Lucky McKee is a great film maker. He's the kind of director that throws all kinds of unsettling imagery into his films and he's the kind of writer that crafts really heartfelt stories told through a twisted vision. His latest film is no exception.
The Woman is a film that you will either love or hate. There is no in between with this one. If you are a Lucky McKee fan then you are well versed in his story-telling style and you should see past all the violence and gore and find a sincere tale of social commentary that is all too real in this world. In a time when all the human themes and parallels are done to death with zombies and vampires and all those other symbolic monsters, Lucky finds a way to inject his assessment of man into a savage film filled with different levels of hate and lust. And...it's gory as hell!
The main woman in the film is purely feral and she knows no other way of life as she is the last of a violent clan that has been roaming the Northeast coast for decades. She hunts and sleeps and runs through the woods like a primal beast...relying on her instincts for survival. We are then introduced to Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers doing his best not to wink at the camera) and his family of Cleeks as they are participating in a country barbecue with imagery of male vs. female throughout the family gathering. There's a scene early on that introduces his son, Brian (Zach Rand in sadistic mode), as he watches a young girl get taunted with a dark relish. It's the kind of allegory that foreshadows the entire film through its candid moments of a wholesome family severely troubled.
Chris is a successful lawyer with his own practice. He owns a large house on several acres of land and he commands his entire family with mere gestures and looks. It's plain to see that he's implanted years of mental abuse in order to instill his apparent mind control. Aside from commanding his submissive wife, Belle (Angela Bettis doing her trademark mousy female), to roll his cigarettes for him, Chris' favorite pastime seems to be running off into the woods on his off-road quad for a little half-assed hunting.
One day, Chris stumbles on the savage woman during one of his outdoor excursions. He captures the woman and brings her back to his house in an attempt to civilize her.
Pollyanna McIntosh plays the woman and she is fucking wild! She doesn't really have any dialogue throughout the film's running time...unless you count hisses and growls. So, her performance is conveyed through her eyes and body language. It's a really great performance and truly showcases what an amazing actress she is. There's a scene later in the film where she goes on a rampage and you feel every ounce of her comeuppance through her eyes alone...and she is horror embodied. It is also interesting to point out that her profession of choice is that of a model...so, it's kinda crazy to see such a hottie get all barbaric with a man's heart.
The Woman speaks on many levels...mostly concerning itself with displaying the malevolence of man vs. woman on the side of the latter. When Chris is first introduced...he never seems all that formidable. Until, it is revealed how he takes his female counterparts and strips them of all of their virtues making all the females in the film easy prey for his sadistic dominance. It is only until he fucks with the wrong woman that he truly sees how clearly impotent he is to a woman scorned.
The only real flaw I had with the film was in the music department. While I really liked the original score for the film (a mixture of unsettling ambient sludge and dark electronica)...I hated the grungy light rock music featured during every other scene of importance. It's the kind of thing that seriously takes you out of the film you are watching and drops you into Lucky McKee's living room while his favorite 90's Alternative Rock mixtape is blasting in the background.
Still...if you can get past the downright stupid choice of music, The Woman is a worthy film that will seriously make you want to jump up and cheer in your best feminine growl. While it is peppered with dark evil humor throughout its running time, the experience is dead serious in execution. There's even a bit of a twist ending that does its damndest to ensure our antagonist's fate is well deserved. Try not to watch it with your own female counterpart, tho...'cause she'll start looking at you with those savage eyes for awhile.
4 out of 5
Thanks for reading,
By the by...Carlee Baker...yup...HOT!