SUNDANCE REVIEW: 'The Woman' Full of Misogyny, Bloody Excreta

Low-rent horror flick trades in repulsive treatment of women in general, not just of the feral protagonist.


PARK CITY -- (Park City at Midnight) More bloody excreta from the strangely Sundance-approved film directed by Lucky McKee, The Woman is the latest supposedly feminist horror flick to use five climactic minutes of gory male-directed payback to justify presenting an hour and a half of brutal misogyny. Not unlikely to find a home-vid following among genre fans, it could make money for distribs who don't mind being associated with it.

Like an especially perverse Lars Von Trier outing stripped of intellect, humor and artistry, the movie takes a raised-by-wolves-ish feral woman and puts her at the mercy of Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers), a caricature of condescending, wife-dominating suburban manhood.

Cleek discovers the Woman while hunting and decides to bring her home. Chaining her up Abu Ghraib-style in his cellar, he brings his dumbstruck wife and three kids out to view the bloody, mud-crusted creature and boasts "we're going to help her...civilize her."


A series of predictable mistreatments commences, during which we see how this gem of a man treats his cowering wife and saucer-eyed daughter, who may or may not be pregnant with his child.

No one would accuse McKee of subtlety, but the filmmaker does prove fully capable of evoking dread and turning stomachs: Pounding low-frequency oscillations, head-on views of his dead-eyed title character, and a liberally deployed pair of needlenose pliers all ensure a deeply unpleasant viewing experience.

Venue: Sundance Film Festival, Park City at Midnight
Production Company: Moderncine
Cast: Pollyanna Mcintosh, Brandon Gerald Fuller, Lauren Ashley Carter, Chris Krzykowski, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Marcia Bennett, Shyla Molhusen
Director-Screenwriter: Lucky McKee
Producers: Robert Tonino, Andrew van den Houten
Executive producers: Frank Olsen, Loren Semmens
Director of photography: Alex Vendler
Production designer: Krista Gall
Costume designers: Sandra Alexandre, Michael Bevins
Editor: Zach Passero
Sales: Cinetic
No rating, 102 minutes