Skip to main content

Lucky McKee's THE WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!

I was lucky enough to catch Lucky McKee’s The Woman at the 2011 Toronto Afterdark Film Festival.

The Woman tells the story of the Cleek family. The Cleek’s are your run-of-the-mill suburban family; you’ve got the breadwinner father, the submissive mother, the tortured soul older daughter, the rebellious son and the innocent toddler. The father, Chris Cleek, who goes hunting one day, captures seemingly, his biggest hunt to date: a wild woman. He traps her, kidnaps her and takes her to his secluded ranch house. She is locked and chained away in his dungeon like shed. He is filled with joy as he shows his family his most prized finding. He doesn’t seem to comprehend the wrongness of his actions. Yet, his family doesn’t exactly share the same sort of joy and are filled with a sense of disbelief. However, they follow along with the mad father’s idea and reluctantly go along with the hi-jinks. Chris Cleek decides the whole thing is a family project, to domesticate and teach the titular Woman how to be proper. Although seemingly well intentioned, Mr. Cleek has more insidious and perverse intentions in mind.

These days, not very often do I feel moved or invested into a horror movie. But The Woman did it for me. Director McKee does a great job of painting each character and allowing the audience to dive deeper into each of them. We feel for the Woman. We sympathize with the wife. We hate the father. The whole thing works because of our investment in the characters. And McKee demonstrates patience in telling his story. There aren’t any quick thrills. It’s all a build-up to the last 10-15 minutes when all our emotions are released.

One of the things that make it unique is it’s dark approach to the subject matter. It starts off innocently enough, as we’re introduced to the family. We see their quirks and we know something isn’t right, but it’s never thrown in our faces. But as the minutes roll on, the movie gets darker and darker, and suddenly the comical laughter becomes more of a nervous laughter.

The violence depicted in this movie against women is quite brutal. To digress for a moment, in prowrestling lingo, this would be considered creating heat. The more deplorable the heel (i.e. the bad guy), the greater the heat. And with great heat, comes an even greater pop (i.e. cheers) when the good guy finally conquers the bad guy after a long uphill battle in the end. But there’s also such thing as cheap heat. Cheap heat refers to basically cheap shots to get the crowd to boo you. Simple examples would be making fun of the town they’re in, or pointing out people in the crowd and making fun of them. They’re cheap tactics to get boos, or to build cheap heat. This is opposed to real heat, which relies more on story driven elements to get the crowd to hate you, usually more potent and lasting. Anyways, why all this explanation? Well, in the context of the movie I’m trying to determine whether Chris Cleek’s violence towards women is a cheap heat tactic or real genuine heat. I’ve always viewed violence towards women both in movies and video games as a cheap heel heat tactic, but since in this movie it’s quite central to the plot I’m conflicted. Is it real heat or cheap? The auditorium erupted in applause and cheers when the antagonist received his just desserts, and I for one, was amongst them. So it’s hard to say, it’s certainly debatable.

It’s a wacky horror movie, not one to be taken seriously. From the moment that Chris Cleeks introduces his family to the Woman with a smile on his face, we know we’re in for a ride. It’s a movie that will get your blood flowing as you cheer and boo what’s happening on screen, and to me, that’s an effective movie. No, it might not be the best thing ever, but as far as horror in 2011, it’s probably one of the better ones. Until next time, later geeks!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sam Raimi's Dragging Someone To Hell!!!

It's great to see Sam Raimi back in his form with his latest entry Drag Me To Hell . Simply glorious, it is a horror geek's dream. This is the Sam we all know and love from Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness , before he got all caught up in the comic book geek universe of Spider-Man . After 10 years (from the first time I watched Evil Dead 2 ), he has remained my favourite film director... although he did try my patience with Spider-Man 3 . I know this euphoria that I'm feeling now will be short lived, as even as I type this review, Raimi is already at work on the pre-production of Spider-Man 4 (yay?). So what is there to say about Drag Me To Hell ? This is the way a summer movie should be, touching on all those senses that make movie going an actual experience. There were thrills, chills, laughs and cheers; the way things should be! Drag Me To Hell tells a story of a young loan officer named Christine, who in an effort to advance her own career, has to turn down a

Dreamers, Achievers, Believers

It was quite a week last week. It started off on a more heavy note last Sunday, but as the week wore on, things became better and more clear. So let's do a little recap. This is going to be kind of long, so if you find this kind of stuff boring I've inserted pictures of funny cats for your entertainment. So... 1.5 Weeks Ago About 1.5 weeks ago, my friend Jon from Living Room gave me the contact info for his uncle. His uncle is an engineer and apparently was looking for new grads and new hands to hire. That week, I gave him a few calls but he wasn't there when I called him and when he returned my calls, I wasn't here either. We were playing phone tag that week *insert schoolgirl giggle*. Sunday Morning So last Sunday morning, his uncle gave me a call at 9 am (The morning! My weakness! HISS!) and we talked about stuff. I was telling him a bit about school as well as elaborating my work/coop experience as he didn't have my resume yet. So he goes on to tell

Lt. Aldo Raine wants his scalps!!!!!!!!!!!!

I missed The Inglorious Basterds during its theatrical run and it's a shame too because I'm a fool for Tarantino movies. But I finally got to see it this weekend and I'm happy to say that I mostly enjoyed it. I don't think it's his best movie, but it was damned entertaining. The Inglorious Basterds takes place during World War II and tells its story by following three different groups of characters: from Lt. Aldo Raine and his squad of soldiers infamously known as the Basterds, Col. Hans Landa, a Nazi colonel better known as "The Jew Hunter", and from a young Jewish girl named Shosanna, who had her family murdered by Col. Landa. We follow the Basterds in their Nazi killing business (and business is good) as they lay out a plan to take out several high ranking officials all at once. We follow Shosanna as she operates her theater and lays down her own plans in exacting revenge on the Nazis. And of course, the "Jew Hunter" is hot on their trai