The Woman Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2014
So many thoughts - definitely not what I expected.
Hated the father and son in this - just couldn't wait to see the wild woman get them.
Very disturbing story about an outwardly perfect family and what daddy really does for kicks.
Don't want to say more an ruin it for anyone.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2012
Director of the incredible May takes over this sequel to Jack Ketchum's Offspring. This film is much better, as it has a quirky humorous tone that exists throughout and adds to the shocking moments. The Woman sees the last survivor from Offspring captured by a small town lawyer who wishes to 'civilise' her. As you can imagine, he's a bit of a dick, and the question around who is truly 'civilised' is raised. Sean Bridges gives an excellent creepy turn as the father of the family, who can be all smiles and sunshines before hitting a woman. The idea of feminism and strength plays throughout, and we see the negative effect Bridgers actions have on his family, especially his son. At times the tone is something bizarre, which may put viewers off, but overall this is a wonderfully crafted little horror film that works as a disturbing fable.
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2011
A competently acted and well directed film that doesn't go as far as it wants to. Sure, the basis of the film is misogynistic--who can't see that? But it wants to be incisive in its analysis of that basis, and it doesn't go as far as it should. The movie sets up a straw man of misogyny in its main character, Chris Cleek, and is more willing to focus on him than his female victims. Add in a predictable ending (with a bizarre coda) and you've got "The Woman." Trust me--it's more shallow than it pretends to be.
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2012
Very good movie! It's disturbing, frightening, and outrageous! It's a little slow the first 45 minutes...but the pace quickly picks up into a one bloody good movie!
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2012
***1/2 out of ****

It's baffling to me that this film is being marketed as a straight-up horror film; because after watching it, I can say with much confidence that it's anything but. "The Woman" is more like a provocative and deeply perturbing drama with a blood-soaked finale; in which explosions of brutal violence come from all directions, lending it the label of a horror-show. Still, if you're observant of time; you'll notice that the nastiness only really starts in the last twenty minutes of the movie, although it's quite apparent that the film has been building up a whole lot of hatred and stark nihilism throughout the other eighty. Disturbing, pretty much from beginning to end, "The Woman" is perfect anti-entertainment; there wasn't a moment that I can say I actually enjoyed watching it, although it drew me in more than half the films of last year even had the potential or chance to, and I'm mighty grateful for that. It's directed with style, yes, but I think above all it should be admired and respected for the script; which shows great empathy and understanding for its characters, consistently messing with our perceptions of good and evil.

The Cleek family is an all-American one; a textbook example of their kind. They commute to their community, socialize within their home, and care for one another. And hey, look at that, even dad has a recreational pastime. The members of the Cleek household are father/husband Chris (Sean Bridgers), mother/wife Belle (Angela Bettis), adolescent son Brian (Zach Rand), young child Darlin (Shyla Molhusen), and teenage daughter Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter). Every member of the family has their own issues: by the end we're convinced that dad's a psychopath, mother is genuinely weak and anything but strong-willed, son is quicker to ponder adulthood than most, and daughter is a depressed Goth Girl, minus the piercings. But these problems are just going to keep on stacking up upon one-another; as the biggest of big problems has yet to rear its ugly head.

Father - Chris - likes to hunt; and one night, he partakes in a rather eventful trip to the nearby woods. While scoping out potential prey with his weapon of choice, he spots a primitive woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) bathing in the creek. Entrapped by her alluring figure, Chris vows to return the next day and capture her, which he does. He then brings the woman home, has her hung by chains in the backyard cellar, and proceeds to devise a family-wide plan to properly "civilize" his discovery. She is underdeveloped, and cannot speak the English language like we do; instead communicating through aggressive snarls and peculiar teething methods (in a particularly gruesome scene, she bites Chris's ring finger clean off). The women of the family disapprove of them keeping this "thing" in their basement; although it's Brian who eventually sides with his old man, desperate to become on himself. In the next few days, we'll witness the dark side of humanity; one character at a time.

Say you've got a weak stomach, and you cringe at the thought of films such as "Hostel" and "Saw". If this is indeed the case, you definitely don't want to be seeing "The Woman"; for it is the kind of movie that is relentless towards personal preference or feeling. I mentioned earlier that it's only terribly bloody in its final moments, and I stick to my word, but there's an ever-building sense of dread throughout (not to mention some absolutely disgusting scenes in which Chris feeds the woman) that makes the film incredibly disturbing. It's a difficult watch, and it's generated some controversy over "misogynistic themes", but I object. In my eyes, it's a strictly feminist film; and if it's cynical towards any group of people, it's humanity as a whole. The film is not selective of gender, race, or social class; it tells a story in which just about everyone is evil, depending on your definition of the term.

A lot of people who see this movie are going to either hate it or love it. Nevertheless, you probably won't enjoy it. "The Woman" is not entertainment, but at the same time, it's not offensive or particularly exploitative either. Through dark humor and tense horrors, it creates scathing social commentary on those who we consider "normal" or "civilized". Its themes and messages have been done before, yes, but most Hollywood movies would have either sugarcoated the ideas that it has on its mind, or they wouldn't have dealt with them at all. This is a flawlessly acted, brilliantly directed art-house horror-drama with enough on its mind to engage and intrigue. It was ultimately compelling enough for me to care about its characters and resonate with its message. At this point, I don't care what anyone says: this is a fantastic film, unpleasant and strange as it is.

"The Woman" was written and directed by Lucky McKee; a sequel to Jack Ketchum's "Offspring", which got an absolutely brainless film adaptation. McKee has once again startled and moved me simultaneously, just as he did with his darkly beautiful "May", which was one of my favorite horror films of this past decade. "The Woman" once again proves that he has a voice; and it deserves to be heard. I can neither recommend nor discourage you from seeing the film; all I know is that I found it to be kind of brilliant. It got under my skin, it made me think a whole lot, and it's not a cheap morality tale; you know, the kind that I feared it might have been. But McKee does not disappoint. He has a vision, and even if it's an uncompromising and unforgiving one, he isn't afraid of anything. He survived the criticism and backlashing that "The Woman" received after its initial screening at the Cannes Film Festival, and this is where the movie has brought him. Through repulsion and disgust, he evokes a much deeper sadness that lies beneath. I hope people will see and admire the film; although I would also expect they'd cease to enjoy it, for to do so would be shameless and perverse.
Super Reviewer
November 2, 2011
Centering around a country family whose patriarch takes captive and tries all means to "civilize" a woman of the wild, "The Woman" will unsettle the viewer, not just with its content matter but also with its production values. It was gritty and has its fair share of gore that made me squirm in my seat. A set of original songs went surprisingly well with the scenes, which made each performance, cut and edit more interesting. Twists and turns take the story to an unpredictable direction and when it came down to the final act, it left me quite speechless for both the right and wrong reasons.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2011
(Contains spoilers)
In a film that raised a lot of controversy at Sundance we follow a family whos main man Mr. Cleek captures a woman who they are trying to civilize. As Mrs.Cleek questions this decision Mr.Cleek slaps her and casually goes back to bed. You'd think this would be a first warning sign, or maybe a second the first being that he captured a woman. Later in on the film the son of the family takes a peek at the woman inside the cellar to see his father raping her, the next day the son takes the same action while masturbating to himself torturing the women. The wife snaps after Mr.Cleek makes it seem like it's perfectly fine and "boys will be boys", after she announces shes leaving him he bets her and directs his oldest daughter Peg to get her a cold towel. When it gets really weird is when the teacher comes, and I'll let you watch that scene on your own. Lucky McKee takes risks and I respect that, it was controversial and well rightfully so. He wanted to shock us and he did.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2011
Review soon
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2011
Silence is the scariest thing ever. The woman is Lucky Mckee's masterpiece, although predictable, the film still offers many surprises. Excellent performance from the cast, the dark side of the family was finally revealed at the end, it was disturbing. Men are truly evil, the film's disandric metaphor was presented well, the woman herself was not purely evil, instead the capturer is the most evil. I would never want to become a social worker after watching this film. It offers a definite ending that makes me cheer, good on you Lucky and Angela!!!
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
Great, unsettling horror. A seemingly ordinary family man feels he has to protect his family, so when he sees a woman who appears to be very different from your average female in the woods near his house he captures her and locks her in a barn in the garden in order to "educate" her. Unfortunately the man has some strange and fucked up ideas when it comes to education and we get to see the lengths this man, and certain members of his family, will go to in his claims of protecting each other.
The Woman has an unsettling feel throughout as we explore the possibilities of what goes on behind the closed doors of "normal folk" and this does get pretty dark at times but you can't ignore the talents of director Lucky McKee and the cast, including Angela Bettis who stared in McKee's brilliant May, a few years back, who really throw thmselves into it.
The ending might be to much for some as it turns from dark horror/drama to almost exploitataive splatter but its very well done, I think, as it just throws something unexpected into the mix. Maybe not for everyone, but The Woman is a brutal and powerful horror film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2011
"The Woman" is the sequel of the terrible "Offspring" which I will always remember for how bad it was and how good its sequel is. The story of the present movie itself was very original, but the execution is truly what was the best about this whole film. The score for the film is actually pretty great. Every single song really did a good job of complimenting the mood of each scene. There were some pretty gross scenes but it is not nearly as disturbing as some critics make it out to be.
This was a very enjoyable and a different horror film that I don't give it a higher because the ending seemed a bit rushed.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
½ September 30, 2011
This "who is the real monster" flick isn't worth the hype it's been getting. The concept is not that original and I found some of the acting to be completly over the top and silly, specially from the fatherly figure and the son. Also, some secondary characters feel that they're just there to increase the body count and shock effect which backfires, as some of these surprises are just not plausible and dig deeper into some holes the story has.
Also the soundtrack got on my nerves so badly, I literally wanted to turn down the volume on more than one ocasion. It's insistent and pointlessly indie.

Props for some ideas that hang around and for being rather well shot but other than that, not worth the fuss.
January 9, 2014
Scathing screed against misogyny and a weird sorta female-empowerment tale, wrapped up with a healthy dose of exploitation. Any controversy it generated isn't really necessary, since the movie wears it's intentions on its sleeve; every character is a caricature (The Controlling Husband, The Enabling Wife, The Woman herself an obvious symbol of oppression and righteous vengeance) that you wait for the story to break free and upend expectations (it doesn't) In fact, the satire is SO thick, it's strange when some elements remain weirdly obtuse. And yet, it's massive effective for most of its running time, nonetheless.
August 5, 2013
I got 25 minutes into it, and got too bored. The plot seemed utterly pointless and some of the dialogue was unintentionally funny.
½ December 14, 2012
First off, great soundtrack and it was used well in the movie. The acting was really good and so was the script. The filming and overall creepy atmosphere, along with the makeup, were all well done. The main male actor does an amazing job at creating a hateable villain. Would liked to have seen the wife's character be a little stronger, but wow, what an ending. Definitely a bit too long though.
November 21, 2012
The Woman (2011) -- [8.5] -- A man captures a feral woman and chains her up in his cellar, calling upon his wife and kids to help him 'civilize' her. "The Woman" makes bold play of gender dynamics that will leave some viewers crying 'misogyny', 'misandry', or both -- but I applaud writer/director Lucky McKee (May, The Woods) for his provocative exploration of the material. The film features outstanding performances from Sean Bridgers as the disarming but volatile father figure, Angela Bettis as his beleaguered wife, and Pollyanna McIntosh in the namesake role. Didn't care so much for the soundtrack, but it's a minor gripe in a film I already liked well before the third act had me sitting on the edge of my seat in giddy anticipation. It's one of those films where the more outrageous it gets, the more perfect it becomes. The ending is exquisite. Definitely one of the best horror films I've seen in years.
September 19, 2012
Essentially the Anti-Edward Scissorhands, that is more shallow than anything, though it would like to pretend it's something more.
June 18, 2012
pretty depraved and mean spirited, with no one to really root for, or any redeeming or hopeful aspects, i really hated that dad and the son, and then how the wife and daughter just took his abuse, the movies still well made, and i was always interested, its not as good as luckys previous film may, but i suppose i shouldve expected the deparvity here, as its co written by jack ketchum, who wrote the girl next door, which is beyond disturbing
May 31, 2012
Creepy. Suspenseful. And an all around twisted tale. The woman of the woods, as feral as they come. And a crazy politician's attempts to 'civilize' her into his abused family. A dark horror with a vein all of its own. And a game to prove who is more brutal.
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