Genre films and women have a complicated relationship, so if I hear about a horror filmmaker down for the cause, I am already rooting for him. Unfortunately Lucky McKee’s The Woman goes out of its way to piss off the choir.
Hunter, lawyer, all-around shitbag Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers) brings home a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) he finds in the woods. He keeps her leashed like an animal and orders his family to help him in his project of “civilizing” her. The women in the family are understandably creeped out while his teenage son Shitbag Jr. takes a keen interest. Domestic abuse, humiliation, rape, torture — all the items in the list checked, the table-turning catharsis arrives. It feels quite hollow.
The uniformally good cast manages to distract from McKee’s heavy hand for a little while, but it keeps coming back. The worst offender is the soundtrack, which is as subtle as a directional neon sign. I don’t have the complete track list, but here are a few I remember.
“The character is feeling helpless about her surrounding”
“Moody teenager is moody”
“The director doesn’t trust you with irony so we’ll just poke you right in the eye”
Director: Lucky McKee