INDIE FILM SPOTLIGHT: The Woman

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UTG’s Indie Film Spotlight highlights a new/recent/upcoming independent film that we feel you need to see. The Harry Potters of the world will always be successful and easily available on Netflix, but indies need your help and contributions to survive and thrive. Just like local elections, your decisions really do matter here. Support independent cinema!

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Ever since its solo-protested debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Lucky McKee’s The Woman has been one of the most talked about films of the year. Now, following a successful run at festivals around the world, the flick is finally opening stateside in limited release this Friday, October 14, through the Bloody-Disgusting Selects film series (full theater listing, here). I was fortunate enough to not only see the film already, but to also interview McKee about his work and will tell you right now – Nothing can prepare you for this film*.

Based on a book of the same name by Jack Ketchum, who co-wrote the screenplay with McKee, The Woman tells the tale of a feral woman (IE: Wild/Untamed/Etc.) who is captured, restrained, and turned into a quasi-pet/project for the family of a successful country lawyer who hopes to “civilize” her. As if this isn’t enough to begin twisting the knots in your stomach with what all the process of “civilizing” involves, this on-the-surface kindhearted lawyer is actually a controlling, wife-beating egomaniac unafraid to express his dominance on anything that gets in his way. This creates a thick layer of tension and subdued terror that radiates throughout each and every frame of the film as the man’s family opposes the vast majority of his decisions (aside from an obviously troubled young boy), but are left immobile due to fear of the man’s reaction. It’s bold, it’s brash, it’s the kind of the stiff drink Hollywood needs and it goes down rougher than a glass of rocks.

Now I know many of you will probably see the trailer above and assume this film is a horror flick, which is right, but probably not in the sense you’re expecting. While there is blood (oh is there blood), what makes The Woman terrifying and what has held me and the rest of UTG’s attention for so long is McKee’s downright disturbingly realistic approach to the entire film. Where many movies would amp up the violence, or be filled with uncharacteristically bold actions by characters who otherwise appear subdued, The Woman is very much rooted in reality, separated only a brighter-than-usual, near satirical approach to lighting and a very disorienting soundtrack that will likely haunt viewers (much like some of the imagery). There are little-to-no “jump” scenes, very little profanity, and almost everything takes place while the sun is in the sky, which speaks a great deal to the film’s ability to still leave viewers feeling uneasy.

Having been a fan of McKee’s since May won ever indie horror fans heart in the early new millennium, I can honestly say The Woman is his strongest and most refined work to date. While it may play like a common scare fest, the subject matter, both on the surface and below, chilled me to my core and left me feeling far more disturbed than any amount of faceless killers or torture sequences ever could. It hits you unexpected, like a piano from a skyscraper of confusion and frustration, yet manages to leave you almost wanting, if not demanding more. I cannot encourage each and every reader of UTG enough to see this film. Seek it out, demand it, plan roadtrips to nearby cities that have it and stay out all night at a screen, just make sure your eyes meet each and every frame that Ketchum and McKee have crafted. You won’t regret it.

Stream & download our exclusive interview with Director Lucky McKee below!

Written by: James Shotwell (Follow him on Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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