Who in the hell doesn’t like cookies? – Brian Cleek
When people ask me what kind of horror movies I find the scariest or most disturbing I usually will go with films in which the true horror is not a monster lurking in the dark, the demons of Hell or a masked killer hunting down co-eds. Films that truly disturb me are ones in which the horror is the result of truly bad people who are at first glance seemingly normal.
Lucky McKee’s The Woman is one of those films. The story of a sadistic country lawyer who abduct’s a feral woman and keeps her chained in the cellar is the kind of movie in which the true horror lay in a seemingly normal person’s capacity for cruelty and violence. Under the guise of attempting to “civilize” the woman the patriarch of the family reveals himself to be the true monster.
The presence of the feral woman in the cellar pushes everything to the breaking point throughout the film revealing incest, domestic abuse and the dangers of unchecked power and privilege burst at the seems in the final act.
At times the violence can be incredibly gory, but it is complemented by think sense of tension as each of the family members struggles with maintaining the facade of the perfect family. McKee intercuts the final moments of characters with flashes of memories meant to represent the dying thoughts of the victims. People having the flesh torn from their bones is punctuated with moments of lovers embracing, a slap in the face, a kiss, a little girl smiling. The effect makes it all the more disturbing. The audience for indie horror has already witnessed countless films in which gore and blood flow heavily. By juxtaposing gore with flashbacks, extreme close ups of victims and killers eyes the gore is at the same time less explicit and more gut wrenching.
The movie is available to stream on Netflix as well as other platforms and was released by Bloody Disgusting’s Selects distribution branch. I am so glad companies like this are able to bring horror gems such as this to a wider audience. It is also worth pointing out that the film is a sequel to a movie called Offspring released in 2009 thought I haven’t been able to track down a copy so the viewing experience isn’t sullied by not having seen the first film.
Check it out and I am sure you won’t be disappointed!