The Woman

August 18, 2011 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still of Zach Rand in The WomanStill of Pollyanna McIntosh in The WomanStill of Angela Bettis and Sean Bridgers in The WomanStill of Angela Bettis in The Woman


When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 6.1/10 (4,574 voted)

Critic's Score: 58/100

Lucky McKee

Stars: Pollyanna McIntosh, Brandon Gerald Fuller, Lauren Ashley Carter

When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.

Writers: Lucky McKee, Jack Ketchum


Pollyanna McIntosh

The Woman

Brandon Gerald Fuller


Lauren Ashley Carter

Peggy Cleek

Chris Krzykowski


Sean Bridgers

Chris Cleek

Angela Bettis

Belle Cleek

Marcia Bennett


Shyla Molhusen

Darlin' Cleek

Gordon Vincent

Clapp Boy

(as Vincent Gordon)

Zach Rand

Brian Cleek

Shelby Mailloux


Tyler Merlini

Boy #1

Jordan Carrasquillo

Boy #2

Jordan Chapalonis

Boy #3

Carlee Baker

Genevieve Raton

Not every monster lives in the wild.


Official Website:
Official site |

Release Date: 18 August 2011

Filming Locations: Massachusetts, USA

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The book 'The Woman' will be released to coincide with the film.

User Review

A feminist horror masterpiece

Rating: 10/10

So far I haven't been that impressed with Lucky McKee's films, but with
The Woman he has become a director who has found his voice. Its a
singular and deeply personal vision and for the first time in a film of
his, it all comes together. I still find it difficult to put my finger
on what makes the film so upsetting and I will need another couple of
viewings to completely get my head around it, but this is part of the
film's brilliance.

In short, The Woman is about a man who, on a hunting trip, comes across
and entraps a feral woman who lives in the woods. He decides to chain
her up in his basement to 'civilise' her. He involves his family, as if
this were a project like building a garden shed. As the film goes on it
becomes clear that the man, a pillar of the community, has been
mistreating the female members of his household for a long time and the
character of "the women" comes to personify and externalise what has
been broken in that family all along.

While the last act erupts in bloody violence, it's the emotional
violence and the effect on its characters that we experience along the
way, which is really upsetting. There is also some pitch black humour
in the film, which only makes the film more disturbing.

There has already been some controversy when there were walk outs at
Sundance where the film has been accused of misogyny, but I don't think
that's the case. This is a feminist horror film, but one that avoids
trite lectures and finger wagging moralising. Just because a film
depicts something, doesn't mean it approves of it.

The film sits in the middle the between something like a Todd Solondz
film but without the hipster nihilism and the French torture horror
films like Martyrs or Inside but without the moral vacuity or leering
voyeurism. Those looking for a straightforward shocker may be
disappointed, because the film constantly side steps the conventions
and clichés of the genre. McKee doesn't give you fake scares to jolt
you or conventional suspense sequences and it doesn't "reward" you with
violence, when you expect it. If you are open to McKee's approach then
the film will crawl under your skin and it will fester there and that's
what I call a real horror film.

The films horror lies in its characters and in the unequal power
dynamic between men and women. On the surface this may look like a film
about a monster woman killing people or it maybe about a family
trapping and abusing a feral women, but while those are aspects of the
film, they aren't really what the film is about. The emotional pay off
to these genre conventions is completely different from other modern
horror films and their depiction never resorts to clichés. It's a film
that gives an audience what it needs, rather than what it wants.

A note on the acting some comments have been complaining about. The
performances by the entire cast are amazing. Those complaining about
the actors in the film don't seem to get that the performances are
non-naturalistic on purpose. The acting style fits the sense of
allegory and heightened reality, yet the actors still get to the truth
behind their characters. In a perfect world they should hand Sean
Bridgers, who plays the father, the Oscar for best actor now and be
done with it. Angela Bettis' fragile frame and sad face have never been
put to better use as the mother. The actress who plays 'the woman' is
truly ferocious and the kids are great too, especially the teenage
daughter whose slow withdrawal from the world is painful to watch.

The use of a rock soundtrack in the film is also fantastic, which gives
it a raw punk power and aesthetic. There is a moment where the mother
allows herself to connect and identify with the 'woman's' plight, while
a guitar chord drones on and it is absolutely exhilarating.

There are things in this film which during my initial viewing I reacted
against and now when I think back on it, they were absolutely perfect
creative choices. Shot on video and looking it, using slow motion, fish
eye lenses and many dissolves at times seemingly at random, the film is
often quite ugly looking but this only adds to it's raw, ragged punk
quality. The fate of one central character genuinely appalled me and
for a moment I hated the film, but then thinking back, it was
absolutely the right thing to do.

I'm a jaded viewer of horror movies by now and its not often that a
film gets to genuinely mess with my head and leaves me richer for it.
The horror genre needs more films like this.