I have heard some praise for this film but I really thought it was going to be just another torture and revenge film, especially as others had emphasised the brutality of the violence so I avoided it. This is not that brutal a film but then maybe I’m not the best one to judge this given how violent a lot of film I watch are. I don’t really know what to make of the film myself as it seems to be more like an argument than a film and I’m sure it’s an argument that I disagree with.
A Civilised Man (Sean Bridgers) spots a Wild Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) in the woods near his home while he is out hunting. He captures the Woman and secures her in his cellar with cables and he tells his family that they are all going to help him in his attempt to civilise her. His Wife (Angela Bettis) cooperates and as does his Son (Zach Rand) but his eldest Daughter (Lauren Ashley Carter) is horrified and cooperates only out fear of punishment from her father. The youngest daughter the Child merely accepts this world is as her parents say it is.
The different members of the family react in different ways to the presence of the Woman. To the Man she is something to be tamed and owned and used as he wills. The Son is also drawn to her to satisfy his sick sadistic pleasures and ease his bruised masculine ego. The Wife sees the strength and ferocity of the Woman and fears it. The daughter comes to understand that she is in bondage like the Woman. Only the Child treats the Woman like any other person, talking to her and playing her music. Everything in this pressure cooker of a family is to ready erupt.
A literal interpretation of this film is to be very unsatisfying as the characters are really such unrealistic grotesques. I’m really wandering into very uncertain territory trying to talk about any symbolic interpretation. The most obvious symbolism others have jumped one is that of gender politics but I have my doubts about that one, going by how crude and obviously over-the-top that would be. I wonder there is some Nature vs Man symbolism being used but I’m swimming out of my depth here. The acting is pretty good with a lot of the communication going on with glances and postures while civilised words are being spoken. This film was not what I expected and I will have to come back to it. It’s not one I can recommend to anyone looking for horror experience or action and if you are after anything like Saw or Hostel forget it.
- Rotten Tomatoes
- Movie Review | ‘The Woman’: ‘The Woman,’ Directed by Lucky McKee – Review (movies.nytimes.com)
- Film: Movie Review: The Woman (avclub.com)