Topic: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great
Maybe this should be under "indie" movies...
I have to get this off my chest. Just watched this last night and it was SO CLOSE to being a masterpiece, but they ruined it at the end. "The Woman" builds tension like nothing I've seen outside of the best Japanese horror- you can cut the tension with a knife! The characters are human, even the near-wordless wild woman. That actress deserves an award- tell me her first snarl at the beginning isn't one of the scariest sounds ever made! There's horror, humor, and symbolism abounds- plus it's an excellent depiction of how an abusive parent can twist and dominate his whole family, creating a twisted world that they all accept as normalcy- and of how there are no limits to the atrocities a sociopath will commit.
I can't fully discuss it more without [SPOILERS!!!!]
As I said, this is a masterpiece of tension which comes to a head when the daughter's teacher finally visits the house. By now we know how horribly abusive the dad is, he quickly unloads a full arsenal of verbal abuse and mind games at the teacher. Up till that very second when he physically assaults the teacher, this had been one of the best movies I'd ever seen...
...But it's all downhill from there. I'm sorry, the ending is stupid. And I'm really upset about this.
No amount of "shocking" gore and violence can possible have the impact of the man punching his wife earlier in the film. No weird, bizarre revelation at the end could ever come close to the impact of that single punch (I think it was 2 or 3 punches, right to the gut- something only a monster could do BTW) The actor faithfully portrays a sociopathic abuser- it's not evident at first, and NO ONE outside the family sees it- to everyone else he's "a nice guy". The family is trapped in a sick 'world' that he's created, with rules and norms WAAY outside of real-world society's. He's not a caricature- he's not a "fun" psychopath who you laugh at, he's a brutal manipulative monster. What happens when his wife disagrees? When she DARES to have an opinion? He slaps her. That slap is like a vile, terrible thunderclap... But wait, there's more!
The torture scene is .....well, I had to look away when [SPOILER!] the boy does whatever he does with the pliars- and they don't even show it! It's ALL left to the imagination but I still couldn't watch(!) I must confess, no I'm PROUD to confess that a 200+lb man and seasoned horror veteran was nearly in TEARS at that scene! Bravo!
So why did they do it? Why did they throw in all that "silly" carnage at the end when they KNOW how to make a serious impact thru suggestion of horrors instead of blatantly showing it? I can't answer that, I can only say it's the equivalent of drawing a silly moustache on a Rembrandt portrait- it ruins a fine work of art. This movie was so close to Greatness.....so close....
Last edited by Sutekh (2012-08-16 12:43:25)