Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lucky McKee|
|Produced by||Robert Tonino
Andrew van den Houten
|Written by||Jack Ketchum
|Based on||The Woman
by Jack Ketchum
Lauren Ashley Carter
|Music by||Sean Spillane|
|Editing by||Zach Passero|
|Distributed by||The Collective
|Running time||101 minutes|
The Woman is a 2011 American horror film directed by Lucky McKee, adapted by McKee and Jack Ketchum from Ketchum's novel of the same name. This movie is a sequel to the film Offspring. The film stars Pollyanna McIntosh, Angela Bettis, Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Carlee Baker, Alexa Marcigliano, and introducing Zach Rand and Shyla Molhusen.
The movie opens with the feral Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) circling what appears as her child. A wolf, apparently tamed by the feral Woman, circles the infant as well but does it no harm. Although it is not referenced in the film, the Woman is the last remaining member of a cannibalistic tribe that has roamed the north-east coast for decades (as seen in the 2009 film Offspring).
Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers) is a country lawyer who is shown at a local barbecue with his family. The family enjoys the food while the oldest daughter Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter) sits off to the side clearly detached and upset. Their only son Brian Cleek (Zach Rand) watches as three or four boys violate and push a small girl into a corner. He stands up seemingly to come to her aid, but instead shoots a basketball. As they leave, Chris asks his son how it was to which Brian replies that he shot 8 out of 10 baskets. There is no mention of the girl or anything else.
Later that night while out hunting, Chris Cleek happens upon the Woman who is bathing. He watches her, leaves, and returns later with a net in an effort to capture her. He manages to trap the Woman in the net and knocks her out. Chris returns home with her, restrains her in a cellar, and directs his family to participate in "civilizing" her. The next day at school with the Woman in the cellar, the kids begin to show their true personalities. Brian is bested by a girl while playing basketball. So later in class, he maliciously puts gum in her brush. She unsuspectingly brushes her hair. He offers aid, but hurts her as he brushes. He appears to enjoy watching her scream in pain. Peggy is withdrawn at school, detached, and often seen wearing very baggy clothes. Her teacher begins to think she is with child and approaches her. Peggy does her best to avoid the topic and returns home. Chris' first attempt to approach the woman results in her biting off and swallowing the end of his ring finger. She spits his wedding ring out into a pool of blood beneath her feet. Peggy and his wife Belle (Angela Bettis) protest and the youngest daughter Darlin' (Shyla Molhusen) attempts to befriend the imprisoned woman. Nonetheless, Chris' will prevails and he orchestrates an increasingly violent series of civilizing measures. Later that night, Peggy is sitting on her bed, very detached. Her father walks in and sits next her. She is clearly afraid of him. Her mother happens to walk by and quietly watches in the shadows. As Chris begins to talk, he moves closer to Peggy. He tries to reassure her everything will work out because she is very smart and beautiful. Her mother closes in and walks into the room as he kisses Peggy on the forehead. Belle and Chris retire to their room discussing mundane issues. Belle questions Chris' idea of civilizing the Woman considering the two German Shepherds housed in the barn and everything else. He responds by slapping her across the face.
The next day Chris goes to work. He gives the appearance of a sharp, smart, charming man. His innocently flirts with clients and his secretary. Brian continues to maliciously attack his classmates and Peggy is seen crying on the soccer field by her teacher. Chris picks up his kids from school with Peggy being visibly uncomfortable. At home, Chris baths the Woman with boiling hot water. Belle watches as he caresses the Woman's breast. Belle appears to have snapped as she makes eye contact with the woman. However, she aids Chris in his efforts. Later, Chris decides to bathe the Woman with a high pressure power washer. Belle watches in horror but Peggy, unable to stand it anymore, rushes to the Woman's aid and turns off the power washer. Peggy is forced into the house while Belle and Chris move the woman back into the cellar. There, he dresses her with a gown Belle made for her. Later that night, Chris sneaks out of bed and rapes the Woman while his son Brian secretly observes. As Chris had entered the cellar, he had turned off the light and lit a candle. This is the same candle seen in his daughter Peggy's room. The implication is that he may have raped his daughter too. The next day, Brian comes home early from school and proceeds to violate the woman.
When Peggy catches her brother sexually assaulting the imprisoned woman, she tells her mother who reports the incident to Chris. Chris laughs off the attack as typical of "adolescent urges," upsetting the normally complacent Belle and driving her to announce her intention to leave Chris and take their two daughters, but not their "rapist" son. Chris knocks Belle unconscious just before Peggy's teacher Ms. Raton (Carlee Baker) rings the doorbell. Ms. Raton, suspicious about Peggy's recent depression and baggy clothes, tells Chris that she believes Peggy is pregnant. He becomes angry stating that Ms. Raton has accused him of impregnating his daughter and hits her. He and Brian tie her hands and drag her to the barn where he keeps the German Shepherds. Peggy protests, but Chris pushes her away and then subjects her to a vicious verbal assault.
In the barn, Chris and Brian lock Ms. Raton in the dog's cage where the two German Shepherds taunt her. It's soon revealed that the cage also contains an eyeless girl named "Socket" (Alexa Marcigliano) who behaves like the two dogs (Chris references Socket obliquely earlier repeating the word "anophthalmia" several times to Belle). Socket and the dogs kill and eat Ms. Raton as Chris and Brian look on smiling. He later instructs Brian to bring in the wood chipper, rake, and bags because the dogs can never eat it all.
Meanwhile, Peggy releases the imprisoned woman from the cellar. The woman bursts from her dungeon and attacks Belle (who has recently regained consciousness) gnawing off most of her face before tossing her lifeless body in the air. She then proceeds to the barn where she attacks Brian with a lawnmower blade severing his torso and then rips Chris's heart out of his chest and eats it. With her mother, father, and brother dead, a terrified Peggy attempts to escape with her little sister. The formerly imprisoned woman does not attack the girls. Instead, the woman offers her bloody finger to the youngest daughter (who licks it) and then to Peggy (who does not). The feral woman, Socket (acting as the woman's dog), and the young girl walk away from the house apparently forming a new family. Peggy initially just watches them walk away, but then follows them towards the woods.
- Pollyanna McIntosh as The Woman
- Sean Bridgers as Chris Cleek
- Angela Bettis as Belle Cleek
- Lauren Ashley Carter as Peggy Cleek
- Carlee Baker as Ms. Raton
- Alexa Marcigliano as Socket
- Zach Rand as Brian Cleek
- Shyla Molhusen as Darlin' Cleek
Awards and nominations
- Octopus d’Or at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival, for the best international feature film
- Audience Award for the best international feature film at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival
- The Siren; International Award at the Lund Fantastic Film Festival
- Fifth Best Horror Movie of the Year by Rotten Tomatoes
- "The Woman (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- The 2011 Winners of the "Festival Européen du Film Fantastique de Strasbourg"
- "This years winners". Lund International Fantastic Film Festival - Official site. 24 September 2011.
- Golden Tomatoes Awards 2011
- Official website
- The Woman at the Internet Movie Database
- The Woman at allmovie
- The Woman at Rotten Tomatoes