I am a HUGE Lucky McKee fan. I can admit not all of his movies are great (i.e. All Cheerleaders Die), but after I saw May for the first time, I knew I would be a forever fan of McKee. I’ve seen May probably close to 20 times and I can easily say that it is one of my favorite horror movies. I could go on and on how great May is, but this review is for his second best film, The Woman.
The Woman is adapted from a novel by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee. Jack Ketchum is an amazing horror fiction writer whose many works have been adapted for film. This isn’t the first time Ketchum and McKee have worked together. They have done numerous writing projects together including I’m Not Sam, Red, and the most memorable: The Woman.
Tearing apart the image of the all-American family, director Lucky McKee and writer Jack Ketchum unleash a savage depiction of the sex war and nature versus civilization.
The Cleek’s seem like the cookie-cutter American family. The dad, Chris (Sean Bridgers), definitely wears the pants in the family, keeping his timid and submissive wife, Belle (Angela Bettis from May), under his thumb. The son, Chris, is a chip off the old block, a mini version of chauvinistic dad. Daughter, Meg, is the typical emo teen trying her damnedest to distance herself from the family. Then there is Darling, the adorable youngest sibling.
One day, dad bring home a feral woman. Each family member has responsibilities to take care and “civilize” this woman, treating her like a dog, keeping her chained up in the barn like Jesus on the cross. But this woman is ever defiant and won’t be broken which angers domineering Chris to no end.
McKee and Ketchum collaborated on the novel version AFTER the movie came out. Usually books are better, but in this case the movie outshines the novel tenfold. The actors really bring the story to life, especially Pollyanna McIntosh as the savage and wild woman. Standing at 5’10’’, McIntosh portrays strong-willed characters almost effortlessly. Her piercing eyes look right into the camera as though you can see everything she has gone through just by looking into those eyes. This is especially poignant since she doesn’t speak traditional English in the film.
McKee has a knack for making films campy, which can sometimes come off as low budget. But just when you think you have everything figured out, McKee starts throwing the punches. The twists in this film take this movie from good to f*cking awesome. The climax of the film is utterly jaw-dropping. I love everything about this controversial movie, from the cool, hip soundtrack to the unforgiving and uncompromising content.
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