Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Woman: Lucky McKee`s latest work!

Title: The Woman

Year: 2011

Director: Lucky McKee

I have been a huge Lucky McKee fan. May is easily the best film of the decade. Riding high off the sleeper hit of May was his entry in the Masters of Horror series "Sick Girl" which was one of the best written and directed of that season. It really cemented my love for his films, and while I thought some titles were better then others (Roman which he wrote and starred was awful- Sorry Angela!) I always look forward to a film directed by him. His newest flick "The Woman" is a tale of a feral woman who is captured and brought home to a seemingly normal family. But like any good McKee film their is always something evil lurking in the hearts of man.

As in David Lnych`s Blue Velvet the darkest things can be festering in the most ordinary places and that the family down the road can keep some very deep dark skeletons in the closet. More disturbing the the woman being captured is the abuse and breakdown of the American family, which is the central theme of the film. As the woman is treated like an animal so is the way Mr. Cleek treats his wife, like some object to beat when it disobeys. This film is very well written, this story is so simple that it could so easily become labor some to watch yet what on paper seems like a teleplay for a half an hour drama. His characters are carefully thought out and while you don't get much of back story you can really tell that these are strange people. The ending will certainly make you think, not really a twist but leaves you scratching your head-in a good way.

Visually the film is stunning, and whoever DP`d this truly has a great handle on how to use natural light to create mood and how lighting can effect the whole tone of the film. What impressed me the most was the unsettling scene in which the teacher is savagely dragged from the house to the barn, their is a wonderful tracking shot and the way the sunlight cascades as shes being drug to a almost certain fate. It is not only beautiful but ironic that such a act of brutality is happening right out in the bright sun shine. Very unnerving.

If your expecting a non stop blood bath you might be disappointed. This is not that kind of film, having said that this is not tame on the violence. And you will think twice about putting your finger in a strange feral woman's mouth. (There goes my Saturday nights) The ending is pretty nasty, so if you hang in their its worth waiting for.

Pollyanna McIntosh is amazing in "The Woman"
The performances are also spot on. At first I thought everyone acted really odd and stiff, almost like zombies but as I learned the dad was an abusive sociopath It was very clear that this was actually a stroke of brilliance as I would suspect years of mental abuse would produce a weird family. Angela Bettis also delivers the goods as the poor abused house wife, she is quiet and mousy but this seems in line with what an abused house wife would be like. This was cast perfectly, I really bought the fact that this was a family that was in a downward spiral. But the centerpiece of this film is the feral woman played by Pollyanna McIntosh more then threw herself full force into the role and honestly she should have won an award for it. She is scary. I also enjoyed he in Exam which is a very interesting film.

I always felt that the most frightening monster is the human monster and nothing is more evident then in The Woman. With a very unique concept brilliant actors and a directer who is really showing his chops as a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention  perverse and disturbing. This could be thought of as a Leave it to Beaver had the cast been psychologically unhinged and sociopaths. If given the chance this film will capture you as well!

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