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.
[SPOILERS!]

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)

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

The way I looked at it, the family was a ticking time bomb. Something was going to give eventually and it was almost painful watching the car crash in slow motion then suddenly sped up for an epic display of primal violence. The Woman (played by Polly-Anne McIntosh) deserved her revenge. The man brutalised her, raped her and the wife ignored it. I as an expectant fan of horror (and very much a gore hound) couldn't wait for a violent and bloody pay off. The only thing that did make me think hmm, why? was the girl in the shed.

Lucky McKee was working from a Novel written by Jack Ketchum. There is also another story with this cannibal clan who The Woman was once a member of called Offspring but it is far more violent than this. Jack Ketchum also wrote The Girl Next Door and it sounds like that would be more your cup of tea as it is more suggestive and effected me to the point of tears. Both have also been adapted into movies if you've not already give them a look.

I personally didn't find the blast of uncensored violence a problem but I can see why you did.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

I was very impressed with this movie. As Ultras notes the build up to the final conclusion i think was perfect. In fact my favourite scene is (drag below to see)

when the husbands wife voices her opinion? and he slaps her, a slap that was abusive, hard and vile.

Perhaps the most subtle but i feel most affecting, realistic and telling piece of violence in the film. This scene tells you why his wife never helps the woman because she is so afraid of her husband who has total manipulative control on the family. Its the same reason as why certain Germans (as opposed to people who willfully embraced it) just went along with the Nazi Regime and there was no attempt at political opposition. If u objected ud probably end up in a concentration camp and eventually dead.

Last edited by Vasquez (2012-08-17 05:49:03)

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

am i alone in that i didn't think this film was very good at all. it just didn't work for me. i had no sympathy for any character in the film and what little i had was for the wronged woman herself but i realise that was the point anyway.a very disapointing and somewhat over rated film in my humble opinion. i agree with you Sutekh the ending of the film stinks and makes little sense regarding the previously unshown girl. that said the rest of the film isn't much better despite one or two fairly good moments. a 4/10  for me.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

^ You're not alone Wolfy.  I thought it was okay, but was let down by it.  My own fault on that as I let myself get exited about it.  I would definitely rate it higher than you though...maybe 6/10.  I just didn't find this movie disturbing, which was what it was built up to be.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

Ghostseeker wrote:

^ You're not alone Wolfy.  I thought it was okay, but was let down by it.  My own fault on that as I let myself get exited about it.  I would definitely rate it higher than you though...maybe 6/10.  I just didn't find this movie disturbing, which was what it was built up to be.

thanks ghostie and yes i forgot to mention that, i didn't think it was disturbing at all! mainly because i didn't take or care about any of the characters.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

I think it will touch some more than others like any other film. I've met people who are not at all effected by ASF or Martyrs etc. I think it's a thresh hold thing. Although, tbh there was nothing in The Woman that I hadn't seen somewhere else. Apart from the part with the dog kennel. We've all seen things about canibals, abusing husbands and abused children, maybe not in the same place maybe.

I didn't feel for most of the characters apart from The Woman and the youngest Daughter, Darlin. The Woman because of her strength but complete lack of control and the daughter for her pure young innocence.

It isn't for everyone. If we all liked the same stuff it'd be pretty bloody boring genre.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

UltraViolence wrote:

I think it will touch some more than others like any other film. I've met people who are not at all effected by ASF or Martyrs etc. I think it's a thresh hold thing. Although, tbh there was nothing in The Woman that I hadn't seen somewhere else. Apart from the part with the dog kennel. We've all seen things about canibals, abusing husbands and abused children, maybe not in the same place maybe.

I didn't feel for most of the characters apart from The Woman and the youngest Daughter, Darlin. The Woman because of her strength but complete lack of control and the daughter for her pure young innocence.

It isn't for everyone. If we all liked the same stuff it'd be pretty bloody boring genre.

and i don't like martyrs ethier ! i like that even less. i'd rather see " The Woman " again than that, i cannot see what all the fuss is over that film. you know what i like even less the fucking Spambot!!  mad

Last edited by wolfman1959 (2012-08-17 14:09:43)

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

I loved Martyrs, but I could have done without The Woman. Ketchum's books are so much more effective than his movies. Red, The Lost, Offspring (which is the sequel to Off Season, The Woman is actually the third installment), they were so much better as books. Maybe I feel that way because I've been reading him for years and only recently began watching his movies. I just wasn't at all impressed with The Woman. It was a lukewarm portrayal of very extreme circumstances which didn't really work for me.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

Personally I liked all the violence at the end.  We (Horror Fans) always complain when a film has a lot of suspense and no pay off at the end!  Well this one had tons of pay off, that's for sure.  I felt a lot sympathy for the wife and the older daughter, and the violence that the son showed was very sad.  The end was interesting...Considering what the woman took with her when she left. (trying not to spoil anything)  I think she decided she deserved a payback for what she went through.  I have not read the books yet, but I will definitely check them out.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

^
I agree with DG, when im watching a horror film im always expecting shit to hit the fan at any moment. Sometimes its just a burst of violence expected and built on from the beginning of a film, sometimes the violence is accompanied by a twist or revelation. When this doesn't happen in the end, its almost disappointing often times.

I loved The Woman, one of the best horror films of last year. The build up and seeing the main characters madness reveal its self slowly was brilliant but that finale was the cherry on top for me.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

^^ Agreed!

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

I saw some of this movie but I don't why, i could not sit thought this movie, 
is this movie more brutal then Dead Girl  as just about sat thought that movie.

Re: The Woman (2011)...ALMOST great

Dead girl was graphic with it's brutality, The woman is a bit more toned down until the finale. Then it's all out gorey fun fun fun!