Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Woman (2011)

I've always been a huge Jack Ketchum fan, and was fairly disappointed by his first "cannibal tribe" movie, Offspring.  However, I heard great things about The Woman and I like Lucky McKee's style, so I was looking forward to checking this out.

This was a seriously creepy movie, that's for sure.  It's nice to have vague knowledge of the previous movie, but not entirely necessary.  This movie works as a standalone, and as a much better overall movie than Offspring.  Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers) is a rural lawyer, with a bit of a weird side, to say the least.  His wife, Belle (Angela Bettis) is very submissive and quiet, bowing to Chris's every instruction.  His three children, Peggy, Brian, and Darlin', are equally quiet, and seem used to strange requests from their father and odd goings-on around the house.

So when Chris brings home an unsocialized wild woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), the family does not seem to be as fazed as they should be.   Chris expresses interest in turning the Woman into a productive member of society, but methinks he just wants to torture and rape her.  Just a hunch.

Meanwhile in the family, little Darlin' wants to make friends with the Woman, not understanding why she is tied up in the basement.  Peggy becomes withdrawn at school and home.  Her teacher (and I) suspect a pregnancy.  Brian becomes more sexually interested in the Woman, even watching his father rape her on at least one occasion.  Brian, too, becomes interested in the woman's torture, cutting off one of her nipples, which his sister witnesses.

Everything comes to a head for Chris Crazypants when Polly's teacher comes to the house to confront the family about Polly's pregnancy, at the same time that Belle threatens to leave and take the kids with her.  Not only do we get to see El Lawyer Loco in full effect, but the secret behind the dogs in the barn is revealed. 

I can't say I loved the ending to this just seemed too contrived and weird.  But the level of creepiness unique to a Lucky McKee work is ever-present in this flick.  Everything from the oddball music to the Leave it to Beaver-esque vibe of the family gave me an eerie feeling throughout.  This is definitely one to check out, and I am really looking forward to reading the accompanying book.