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

R.I.P. Evan Tanner

The body of the professional fighter and former UFC champion, Evan Tanner, 37, was found in the Palo Verde mountain area of California on September 8th, 2008. He was found a few miles away from his campsite on foot, with no water, where the temperatures were around 110 degrees fahrenheit. The coroner's report listed the cause of death as from heat exposure.

Tanner left Oceanside, California on September 2nd. On September 4th, he sent a text message to a friend telling him that his motorcycle was out of gas, that he was out of water, and if his friend didn't hear from him the next day, to call the authorities. Unfortunately, Evan never returned home.

I'm not the hugest MMA fan, I consider myself a casual fan, and a n00b at best. I was listening to Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer Radio, and the story of Tanner's life sounded intriguing.

As fantastic as it sounds, Tanner ventured into the deserts in search of treasure and adventure. I kid you …

Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!!!!!!!!!

(Warning: Spoilers Ahead)
Star Wars!!!!  After a 10 year gap we finally receive a new entry into the now Disney owned Star Wars franchise!  So it is apt that the new entry is called the Force Awakens.
The movie starts off 30 years from where the Return of the Jedi last left us.  The Empire has fallen and the Rebels have seemingly disbanded.  But from the ashes of the past, a new threat has risen.  Out of the fallen Empire, a new army called the First Order has spawned, threatening to finish off what the Empire set out to do –  eliminate the force by terminating the last known Jedi, Luke Skywalker.  But as the Empire has evolved so have the Rebels.  Led by General Leia Organa, the Resistance (or the new Rebels) aims to find Luke first, to stop the First Order.
We are told this story through two new main characters.  Rey, who is a scavenger on the planet Jakku, who harvests scrap metals to earn a meal.  Finn, a turncoat stormtrooper who realizes his purpose could be something more than j…

DTV Madness: Joy Ride or Sleepaway Camp? How bout neither!

I've got a crapload of DTV reviews coming out within the next week or so. I don't know why, maybe because it's near Halloween, that companies shit out all these movies around this time. So I watched two this week, Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead and Return to Sleepaway Camp. I had hopes (not high hopes) for both, as I enjoyed the first Joy Ride and loved, loved, LOVED, the original Sleepaway Camp, but like with most DTV affairs, I was quite let down.

Return to Sleepaway Camp

The first Sleepaway Camp was created obviously to milk off the success of other slasher flicks at the time, notably Friday the 13th. It was a complete low-rent production, complete with bad acting and bad dialogue. The saving grace in the movie came at the ending. Anyone who's seen this movie could not possibly forget the ending, it's one of those things you just can't unsee. However, if you need a reminder or a spoiler...

[Inviso-Text Spoilers (highlite with your mouse): The main character, Ang…