The Woman Review



Lucky McKee is back with this truly dark tale of the modern day American family at its worst. Truly it’s a look at a man who has his wires stitched up the wrong way.

Chris Cleek (a very Will Ferrell-looking Sean Bridgers) lives with his wife, Belle (Angela Bettis) and three children Peggy, Brian and Darlin. Right from the get go we can see that Chris is in control of his family. He’s very calm and well spoken all while keeping a smile plastered on his face as he meets people in his everyday life. Then one day while out in the woods he happens upon a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) who it appears has been living her entire life out in the wilderness. He captures her, brings her back home and locks her up in a cellar.

You know it’s going to get worse the moment he introduces his family to her as a sort of project for them to work on, starting with cleaning her up. How the film reveals itself towards the end is nothing short of fascinating and repulsive all at the same time. But McKee also turns a few conventions on their head. The moment the woman is chained up she starts to try to pull her restraints from ceiling, and yet randomly in a scene to follow it’s spotted by her captors.  Normally we might expect to either have her get loose, or cause a fright; or even for her to be punished for causing a bit of damage. But instead Chris, in his mild manner, looks at it as a logical issue to fix.

We get to spend time with two older children at school: Watching the son grow in his tormental instincts; as well as the daughter who appears to be living in perpetual fear for every moment of her life. Every cast member has something to bring, although towards the end we start to really neglect their prisoner and focus more on the father and his abusive persona as it slowly starts to get out of hand.

This one delivers its impact and is bound to secure Lucky McKee cult status as one of today’s continually mature horror film makers. His attention to detail on the family in particular is what really pulls this out of your everyday schlock and makes it all the more terrifying. Watching each character interact at school, work and at the home and with each other is really what drives the story; giving the revelations towards the end a deeper impact. This got a great response from FrightFest when it screened this year and will hopefully get good word of mouth out there for its general release.

Steven Hurst

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