Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Women (2011)

Written by Happywax    Dec 2011
Rating 7 out of 10
Director - Lucky McKee
Pollyann McIntosh - The Women
Sean Bridgers - Chris Cleek
Angela Bettis - Belle Cleek
Lauren Ashley Carter - Peggy Cleek
 Zach Rand - Brian Cleek 
Hey Kiddies , Happys got a sweet little feature for you tonight. Usually, when a low budget movie has nothing but praise, you can almost be assured that the reviews are not particularly honest. If, however, the reviews are all over the scale, then you can be sure that people actually watched the movie. Such is the case with "The Woman" by Lucky McGee. I have been a fan of Lucky's since I watched "May" many years ago. Being a fan of Jack Ketchum's other movies made from his books as well, I knew that this movie was going to be interesting. "The Woman" revolves around the Cleek family. Now, the careful viewer will note almost immediately that there is something not quite right about the family and they are soon rewarded by their keen observations.

   Played by Angela Bettis and Sean Bridgers the Cleeks seem like your everyday normal yuppie family living in the country. The children played by Lauren Carter (Peggy), Zach Rand (Brian) and Shyla Molhusen (Darlin') seem to have their own problems. The real fun begins when Mr Cleek goes hunting and brings home a feral woman instead or a deer! "The Woman" is played by Pollyanna McIntosh with truly remarkable results. She looks, sounds and acts exactly as you would guess and I, for one, was impressed. The rest of the film revolves around Mr. Cleek's attempt to "civilize" the feral femme while keeping her chained in the root cellar of the family home. Needless to say, the presence of the wild woman at the family abode brings about some not so surprising results, as long dormant emotions soon bubble to the surface. Since no sane individual would bring home a feral badger to play with the kids, then you can only imagine what happens here.

 The movie was met with howls of misanthropy and are based somewhat in fact. Those familiar with Ketchum's fiction and scripts know that he is an author that does not pull his punches and that his work is frequently met with accusations of misogyny and general misanthropy. Ketchum's movies often show what happens when so-called civilized human beings are put into less than civilized situations. Overall, Ketchum's script is above par and McGee's directorial skills are put to good use here. The viewer's are treated to a slow descent into violence that results in a chaotic and gory bloodbath. Angela Bettis does her best "sad-eyed" and defeated woman here, while the kids, save the youngest, begin to crack under the pressure of their new house guest. Senior Cleek also begins to show his true colors with his "trophy".

 The basic theme of the script, often explored by Ketchum, is simple; "How far can a civilized person be pushed until they degenerate into an uncivilized monster?" Instead of the feral woman becoming more civilized, she unknowingly becomes the focus for her more civilized captors to degenerate into monsters. Not that the family needed much pushing as their flaws are just under the surface, waiting for something to push them over the edge. The only faults I could find with the movie were the horrible use of pop songs inappropriately used throughout the movie. What should ease the viewer into a scene jolts the viewer back into reality and they result more in annoyance than anything else.

 The actors here perform very well, yet the secondary characters come across more like stereotypes than anything. Are the accusations of hatred toward men justified here? Yep. But I think it is necessary in the full balance of the film to shift focus off the "usual suspects" and get the viewer to adopt a different, but uncomfortable perspective. This movie will satisfy fans of the horror genre as it will most gorehounds, and if their was ever a person who gets what they deserve in the end, this family is IT !!!!!

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