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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: The Woman

The Woman (2011)
Genre: Horror
Director: Lucky McKee

Some people just cannot handle a strong feminist message, though delivered in such cruel, unapologetic way. That would be the reason why this infamous audience reaction clip happened. Lucky McKee is back again with another strange tale involving displaced women in modern society and this time around, he has teamed up directly with the prolific horror author Jack Ketchum. This pairing resulted in one deliciously dark concoction of character drama and potent horror that both of them are already known for and mastered.

The Woman referred to the last surviving member of a cannibal clan from Jack Ketchum's previous works who has found solace living in a small cave in a forest. A lawyer saw her bathing in the river one day and decided to bring her back to his home in an attempt to return her to a civilized life. After having her chained up inside a cellar, he then introduced her to his three kids and wife and informed them that they will have to work together to save this woman. What follows is an investigation into the lawyer's fascinating family dynamics that has been further shaken by the arrival of the woman. The movie takes its sweet time to build up the tension and the woman mostly becomes an observer who watches over how the family reacts to each other as well as the way that they all react to her. The movie uses slow fades between scenes very often, giving it a languid and almost relaxed feel but it also hints at something sinister lurking in the shadows. When all hell breaks lose, you will not be given time to breathe and by then, your perception of the reality of the situation have all but shattered into pieces.

The movie doesn't shy away from its foul treatment of the female sex but that is not without its cause. It's clear that female empowerment is the goal here but that also means that passiveness has no value in The Woman. You are either a victim or a survivor and there is a clear, visible line to distinguish the two. The ending is really messy and there's much to empathize about but strangely, it can still be considered as a good closure, especially considering the situation at hand. Wonderfully casted, masterfully written, and stylishly filmed: The Woman is definitely one of the best horror movies ever made.

RATING: 5 out of 5

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