Movie Review: THE WOMAN
When I first caught wind of THE WOMAN it was being compared to JACK KETCHUM’S THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. The reason being, I found out later was because it was originally co written by Ketchum and the movies director Lucky McKee. After having seen the movie I too can compare it directly to The Girl Next Door in the sense that the latter was mildly ok, where The Woman dosent even touch the undercarriage of ok.
The plot of the film is simple enough, a succesful lawyer (Sean Bridgers) who lives in rural surroundings comes across a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) in the woods one day. He then takes it upon himself to bring the woman back home, where he and his family will civilize her and bring her into the world they know. However when you have wild woman chained up and locked in your cellar things are never that easy, not that I know from personal experience or anything…..honestly I dont, stop looking at me like that!
One of the films biggest issues (of which there are many) is the fact that it tries too hard to be a horror movie with a message. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in fact I would be praising the film for it’s ambitions had McKee actually known what message he was trying to project. On one hand the film bashes the entire male gender and the egomaniacal nature of the patriarch around the chops. Showing us to be raping, destructive, primal, control freaks who are weak willed yet brandish our power and dominance through brute force alone. Yet on the flip-side to that the film is also incredibly misogynistic, showing women as animals (quite literally) who need men to survive, beasts who are nothing but inferior vessels to man. These over bloated and subtle as a jab in the eye ideals clash constantly throughout the film, it left me in a state of confusion. Quite simply it dosent make sense, your left continuously staggered by what little is actually left to interpretate as an earnest message. In short The Woman is as oxymornoic and contradictory as a cellar full of feral politicians.
On top of this the film fumbles its way through a thread bare plot, failed attempts at character development and features more hammy acting than all of Nic Cages crazy hair movies glued together on a single reel. Not to mention the “whacky” editing and terrible use of music throughout, but wait! If that wasn’t enough of a shit sandwich for you there’s more!
Just as the final act rears itself in and we’re treated to a sliver of tension, things quickly descend south into a mess of unexplainable blood and gore and an even more inexplicable ending. Another feral woman is introduced out of nowhere, heads are removed, hearts are eaten and credits finally roll to a dulled silence of bewilderment. The ultimate disappointment is that there is a good film to be found with the skeletal idea of The Woman, it’s just that the version we’re presented with here is so tangled up and bogged down it’s near impossible to see any of it’s once raw potential.