The Woman

Dir: Lucky McKee
Star: Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Pollyanna McIntosh, Angela Bettis

I definitely tend to the view that this is one of those films, where the less you know the better, so you may want to skip the rest of the paragraph. Still here? Okay, you were warned... Lawyer Chris Cleek (Bridges) seems a normal kind of guy. Well, if you consider the definition of "normal" as including, keeping a feral woman (McIntosh) chained up in the cellar, with the aim of 'civilizing' her. His family seem somewhat reluctant to go along, but they're a somewhat odd bunch themeselves, who appear to have their own problems. Still, they defer to the patriarch, and assist in him cleaning, feeding and caring for their new "pet." However, as the film unspools, we discover more about their various dysdunctionalities, and exactly why Chris is so fascinated by the woman he has captive.

Apparently a sequel of sorts to McKee's previous film, you needn't worry about that, as this is entirely self-contained. It's the creeping sense of descent into utter depravity that makes this one generally very effective as a work of horror. Early on, you get the definite sense that something is not right. However, it would take a particularly twisted mindset to figure out the specifics, and even when they are revealed, takes a moment before you can figure out what the hell just happened. There are some logical gaps here - I'm curious why no-one ever apparently considers calling the police at any point - but if you can put them aside, this has the feel of a nightmare which straddles the line between the urban and the rural, drawing from the terrors which each hold, and combining them into a battle of the sexes. With the emphasis firmly on "battle".

[May 2014]

Hell hath no fury.
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