Jarv gets pissy at The Woman

As a general rule of thumb, I despise torture porn. My reasons for doing so are that it’s lazy, invariably full of appalling writing, and the desire to push the envelope, to shock and sicken the audience as opposed to inducing legitimate fear means that we have countless films were ill-developed characters are reprehensibly damaged for the gratuitous titillation of the slavering hordes that comprise the audience. We invariably do not empathise or  care for the victim, as without fail the victim is either an asshole of some description or so heinously under-developed that they are little more than meat puppets creatively wounded for no legitimate narrative reason. I also think, and I’m probably alone in this, that the extreme torture porn that substitutes for horror nowadays is damned close to causing the terminal death of the genre. Don’t misread me here, because I’ve got no problems with extreme violence or gore, but I’d like the pivotal scene to have an impact, such as the hammer sequence in Kill List. It’s a naïve hope, this one, but I honestly believe that making me wince is no substitute for making me scared, and I wish the whole sorry subgenre would fuck off back to obscurity. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing that I really hate, and I do despise this, then it’s crass and obnoxious attempts to justify torture porn by duty of it being “artistic”, to hide the film-maker’s overwhelming desire for sadism behind a horseshit message; a flawed and dishonest “metaphor” about modern life/ feminism/ philosophy/ fuck knows what that invariably is merely window dressing to the gratuitous and masturbatory acts of mutilation.

With that in mind, this review is going to go well, isn’t it…. Oh, and heavy fucking spoilers below. 

Marriage is actually a metaphor for cinema.

Believe it or not, I don’t actually take any pleasure from handing out beatings to films. Well, a little bit, but it’s not worth the price I’ve paid, in that I’ve had to sit through the fucking thing in the first instance. This time around, my crosshairs are firmly set on overrated hack and darling of Aint It Cool, Lucky Mckee’s third film The Woman. This man has a fucking lousy track record with the meh May followed by the utterly dismal The Woods, he’s yet to make a film that I actually like, although with this one, he’s managed to make one I utterly fucking despise. Why would I bother watching this trash? Well, brother Kloipy gave it a very well-mannered and erudite kicking over at Pop Culture Ninja, and given that we are polar opposites on Martyrs, I wondered if the reverse effect would happen here: would I buy the film’s message and use it to excuse the garbage on screen?

Frankly? No. I fucking didn’t. This is boring and reprehensible trash that flirts with outright insult on more than one occasion. I’m, actually, tempted to accuse it of misandrism, but as I’m in possession of a functioning pair of testicles (even if my wife does keep them safe for me), I don’t feel any need to hide behind pathetic reactionary nonsense. At the end of the day, you can’t lay a charge of misandry on this film, as it’s basically criminally inept, staggeringly boring, amazingly predictable, poorly shot, dismally scored tiresome shit and isn’t worth a label as strong as that.

The classroom is actually a metaphor for the pursuit of knowledge.

Allegedly based on a true story, well The Guardian seem to think it is, The Woman is a pointless and irritating exercise. Following the antics of sadist nut-job lawyer Chris, Sean Bridgers, and his attempt to civilise a feral woman (Pollyanna Mcintosh) that he captures one day in the woods. Back at home, Chris supplements his exercise with frequent bouts of casual wife-beating (Angela Bettis plays the poor woman), sexually abusing his daughter (this is never spelled out, but I’ll fucking bet on it), played by Lauren Ashley Carter, and training his son, Zach Rand, in the way of the pervert. Oh, and he also keeps dogs, or does he? Nah, only messing, he’s got another feral woman trained as a guard dog living in a kennel in the basement. Which, incidentally, makes the climax of the movie, the so-called horror sequence, fucking laughably bad. Seriously, it’s hilariously lame, and I’ll come to it in a moment. Finally, his youngest daughter, Darlin’, mostly seems to get off without too much trauma.

Into this comes The Woman. The film basically chronicles her debasement at the hands of Chris, before her eventual release by Peggy and act of random cannibalism on the wife. Chris loses a finger to her early on, so decides to teach her a lesson, which unsurprisingly culminates in a rape, while Brian follows his example and tortures her with pliers while masturbating. Yup, pleasant. Eventually, Brian’s teacher twigs that something is wrong, so Chris feeds her to the guard dog. Peggy, in a bid to save the teacher’s life sets The Woman free, who eats Belle before hilariously slaughtering Brian and tearing Chris’ still-beating heart out of his chest. She then tames the Guard feral woman by slapping it (not joking) and buggers off into the wood with Darlin’. It’s implied that she’s going to be training Darlin’ in the Way of the Cannibal.

The plank is actually a metaphor for democracy in the 21st Century.

I have several fundamental problems here. The first is that it’s tonally dreadful. Bridgers seems to think he’s in a different film from everyone else, so plays it almost winking at the audience. I’m not joking about this, the expression on his face while he’s raping the woman is frankly fucking inexplicable. This is an outright horrible performance, and considering he’s got the menace of a concussed hamster, I’m not buying this fucking pussy as  a sociopath for a fucking second. Secondly, there are several sequences that I’m damned sure are meant to be black comedy (the finger eating leaping to mind) that just aren’t fucking funny in the slightest. When the subject matter is relentlessly grim as this is, I can understand the need to induce levity, but Black Comedy is extremely difficult to get right and if you miss, then all it does is undermine the entire atmosphere of the film.

The cage is actually a metaphor for the financial problems resulting due to the repeal of Glass-Steagall

Secondly, it’s not scary. This, as is always the way with trash like The Woman, is to be expected, but what I wasn’t expecting is that it’s mind-numbingly boring. Fuck all happens of interest on the farm, but we do get to see Chris in his office doing lawyer type things. Fascinating. I’m sure this nonsense is meant to be character development, but it’s a huge fucking failure. Talking about which, the character development here is laughable. Peggy is surly and always ill, the mother is a punchbag, Chris is a one dimensional hypocrite rapist, and the son is an obvious fruit loop. This is not exactly powerful writing.

Her bondage is actually a metaphor for Sharia law in the middle east

Thirdly, and this is where I’m getting on my high horse. Apparently, the Woman is some  kind of feminist horror film. Bear with me on this one, but her trials and tribulations are meant to represent subjugation at the hands of the phalliocracy, before she is freed by a “sister” and overthrows the evil Y-Chromosomes in an act of glorious revolution. Except she buggers this up by eating a sister. Yay, feminism. Or whatever. Anyway, where was I, oh yes, bullshit metaphors being used as a fig leaf for gratuitous nastiness. Right, basically, the film could play this card, and it really could, but for a couple of heinous mistakes. The first is the soundtrack, which is grotesquely inappropriate for this kind of subject matter, not to mention that it flirts with being laughably unsubtle (honestly, when she’s caught the chorus “I wanna make you mine” is singing) on more than one occasion. The second is the way that Mckee films the Woman herself. This is lascivious, we’re treated to lingering shots of her naked body glistening with water/ sweat, and then he tries to imply her steel will and unwillingness to bow before the mighty penis with a strong and unwavering gaze? Eat a dick, Mckee you fucking hack.

Her freedom is actually a metaphor for Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility

I fucking object to this nonsense. I really do. Look, there’s nothing wrong with exploitation, nothing at all. I’m actually on record at intentionally digging up a lot of it and then having a blast. What I do object to is playing some kind of ridiculous message card to try to cover up the fact that the film is cunting exploitation in the first fucking place. Let me give you one reason why this doesn’t work here: total male characters in The Woman? 2- both sociopaths. Nice one, Mckee, you fucking dick. If you’re attempting to pass this off as a metaphor then you need one of two things: isolation where he clearly is the big swinging dick of the homestead, or alternatively a whole fucking society of bastard men. You cannot have the characters going out and interacting with others and only show 2 blokes, both of whom are obviously deranged. What’s the implication, that this town is reverse-stepford and all the men live inside? Or that the representatives of the male gender are all degenerate rapists and sadists given half a chance? I’ll give you a clue, dickhead, most of us can control ourselves and feel absolutely no need to tie up and then rape Gollum’s uglier younger sister. You can take this fauxminism and jam it right up your fucking arsehole, you mendacious scumbag.

Cannibalism is actually a metaphor for the price of cheese in Denmark. On Tuesdays.

Overall, this is bullshit. It’s obnoxious and cuntish bullshit. It’s getting a fucking Orangutan of Doom, and it fucking deserves one, because I’m fucking sick to death of this moral cowardice. If you want to make exploitation, make it, don’t try to pretend that your sordid little fetishism is a fucking artistic statement, because at best its undergraduate level, and at worst it’s patronising crap of the worst order. If this film weren’t so fucking inept, it would be offensive, but luckily it’s boring and laughably shit so I’m not offended by it. Basically, the Woman is another case of the Emperor standing there with his cock out and I’m picking the part of the kid saying “He’s fucking naked, someone section the cunt”.

Fuck this noise, and I wish people would have some balls and make actual exploitation rather than pretend that they’re making some kind of message nonsense.

Until next time,


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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

68 responses to “Jarv gets pissy at The Woman”

  1. Jarv says :

    Appalling film this. Hated every moment of it.

  2. kloipy says :

    Yep, my thoughts exactly too. I LOVE how they bring in the ‘dog’ at the end. It negates any sort of reason for this movie to exist. So did he just give up on the dog and think he could civilize the woman because she had eyes (not to mention the laughable way he shouted Anthophtlamia)? It made no sense to have that in it at all, other than to be a really stupid way to end the movie. it is absolute garbage and definitely put me off any further McKee films

    • Jarv says :

      He’s on final strike with me.

      Wretched- and what the fuck was the little girl going off with her and the dog for?

      • kloipy says :

        And her killing the mother for no real reason. Or how about her ability to speak when the film needs her to? Did you get the feeling too that McKee was pretty much admonishing you, telling you how you were a disgusting pig the whole time? I haven’t been this offended in this way since Funny Games. that’s the closest I can pick to how this movie made me feel

      • Jarv says :

        Got to agree. I couldn’t work out what the hell he was trying to say- it’s such a blatant feminism parable, yet he shoots her like she’s in porn?

        Trying to have his cake and eat it as well.

        Oh and really, eating the mother and the teacher, WTF?

        It’s not as offensive as FG because it is so transparent and useless. Seriously, only 2 male characters? Nice.

      • kloipy says :

        that’s what really pissed me off. He felt all this need to shoot full frontal nudity or get her boobs out every couple of minutes. But it was all supposed to be negated by her cold, steely look of defiances. I don’t mind feminism but this reeks of a man’s idea of what women should feel, not how they really do. Who really knows though, the movie can’t even get it’s point across

      • Jarv says :

        Bollocks to the steely gaze nonsense. Utterly negated by her begging “Please” when he’s got the hose turned on her.

        Fuck you, McKee, you fraud.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        wait this wasnt the final strike? Damn!

      • Jarv says :

        I’ve thought about it, and no, that’s him out.

        May was pretentious shite, if I’m honest, The Woods was boring shite, and this is obnoxious shite. He’s actually worse than Roth, because Roth has no pretensions above being a gorehound.

    • Echo the Bunnyman says :

      wait, the guard dog woman doesn’t have eyes?

  3. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    wow, LM doesnt deserve this..two great reviews of his work in one day.

    I love the rant here, and the fury aimed at it. But tell me more about this? he’s already got one crazy cannibal girl as a guard dog? where did she come from? doesnt that more or less devalue the whole supposed metaphor? I thought the dad is trying to civilize her? So, basically, thats a ruse from the beginning because he’s already got one crazy wolf girl who he made a dog? Where are all the wolf girls coming from?

    Also, in keeping with the ‘high-brow’ metaphor, is the mother devoured because she’s seen as a weak betrayer for allowing papa douche his reign of terror?

    McKee is finished in my book. His name might as well be Eli Roth as far as Im concerned. Although, giving that douche the lowest minimum credit, Roth doesn’t seem to have churned anything out this ass.

    I strongly disliked May–whiny pretentious slop–and The Woods–bland as can be supernatural horror, but this sounds like it takes the cake.

    • kloipy says :

      Jonah, the ‘dog’ is also his daughter too. So, his own kid, he keeps locked in a cage and treats it like an animal but some random feral woman he thinks he can civilize? Oh and the woman knows that the oldest daughter is pregnant somehow. And when they go off at the end, the woman makes the ‘dog’ submit to her and I guess is now her pet or part of her clan. Not to mention she makes the youngest daughter suck blood off of her finger.
      Oh or the way that she chops the son in half with a blade and then literally pulls out the husband’s heart and takes a bite of it as he dies.

      • Jarv says :

        Wait- the “dog” is his daughter? I totally missed that. I did get the pregnancy, and at least he managed not to show the molestation.

        I actually object more to the guard dog than anything else in the film- it utterly negates whatever the fuck he’s trying to get across, and the scene where the Woman bitch slaps the dog before sharing his heart is laughably inept.

        Hateful, useless wank of the rankest kind.

        If he was meant to be an aberration- a serial killer type, then why the fuck are there only 2 men in the film?

      • Jarv says :

        Christ, her wandering round on all fours with The Woman at the end is AWFUL. Ridiculously stupid.

        The other thing with the dog is it’s horribly shot. She’s chomping down on the teacher- who by the way could have knocked her out effortlessly, while in the meantime McKee cuts it in and out with angry dog close ups. It’s an almost unwatchable scene, but not because it makes you uncomfortable, but because I was sitting there literally thinking “what the fuck”.

        That’s meant to be the big twist of the film, that he’s not trying to civilise her, and is just a pervert, but it’s blown it’s wad by him casually wife beating his spouse, and other acts of cuntishness.

        The rape is also atrociously shot- it’s all close ups of his stupid leering mug as he bangs away (from in front, and she bites, by the by). Not that I wanted to see the rape, but it could have been implied. The torture/ masturbation that follows with the son is actually far worse- it’s shot from her POV, and is flat-out horrible.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, in keeping with the ‘high-brow’ metaphor, is the mother devoured because she’s seen as a weak betrayer for allowing papa douche his reign of terror?

        Yes and no. She has to be, because no other explanation makes sense. Either that, or there’s an uncomfortable (for the wrong reasons) scene early on where he’s washing her, and the mother gets all jealous. Which would be punishment for betraying the sisterhood.

        There’s an unintentionally hilarious bit after she eats the mother, where the Woman picks her up (bear in mind she’s not particularly big) and then tosses the body about 8 feet. It’s a joke.

        The Guardian called it a nasty and confused mess, and while they’re wrong a lot of the time, I think they’re spot on here.

      • kloipy says :

        only reason I caught it was that toward the end he is yelling at the oldest daughter and says something like ‘you are just like your sisters’

      • Jarv says :

        Missed that because of the hopeless sound.

        Utter nonsense.

      • Jarv says :

        Still, the Lovefilm experiment starts soon. First movie:

        The bounty hunter.

        This week, I’ve got The Woman (OoD), Crossing Delancey (Probably OoD), The Bounty Hunter (certain OoD).

        Jesus christ. It’s making me look forward to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

      • kloipy says :

        also and I mentioned in my review I really hate the fact that there are only 2 male characters in the movie and they are both awful people. It feels like he’s pointing the finger at every man by not having even 1 positive male figure. Even the oldest daughter’s boyfriend calls her a strumpet (yeah teenagers talk like that). And then for no reason a shot of all those boys holding a young girl down at the beginning?
        I’m still pissed off

      • Jarv says :

        Horrible writing that. I’d actually repressed the “strumpet” line.

        My argument is, if you’re going to play the “All men are bastards” card, Julie Burchill style, then there has to be a decent number of men in the film. 2 does not cut it- particularly when they’re obviously evil.

        Oh, and the fucking sound quality- My TV is decent, and I had to turn the sound up to max to make out half the fucking dialogue. Pissed me right off.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        so, wait, she is a ‘sister’ in the sense she’s bilogically his daughter, or just that she’s now a part of the family. Im confused. Where did the guard dog come from? I assume the wild woman is from a romaing clan of cannibals or something. So, the dog is from there too? If the dog is his other daughter, does that mean the mother and sisters know about her all along? Is there anyone not depraved in this equation?

      • Jarv says :

        The Woman is just wandering around in the woods, happily eating raw fish like Gollum (seriously, you half expect her to say “My precious”).

        He finds her, tranqs her and sticks her in the basement.

        The film then implies with lots of barking noises, a dog bowl and a kennel that he’s keeping large and evil dogs in there as well. The mother even says something like “What you’re up to with the dog could see you go to prison for a long time”.

        He then hog ties the teacher, and drags her ass into the cellar, before stuffing her in the dog cage. She, understandably, backs away from demented daddy and son, and brushes up against the kennel. The “Dog” pops out and chomps down on her shoulder, except dum dum dum….

        It’s a woman with one eye.

        That’s literally, beat for beat, how the film stages it.

      • Jarv says :

        He’s also sexually abusing the eldest sister.

        It’s implied, very unsubtly, and then the teacher spells it out at the end of the film.

        Blah, she has to leave class a lot, she wears baggy clothing now, she’s surly and cut all her hair off.


      • Jarv says :

        The shock moments really don’t work. When he slaps the mother for the first time, it’s meant to be a big surprise, but it’s so obvious what’s coming.

      • Jarv says :

        Finally, there’s no reason for the little one to go off with the Woman at the end. None. She’s just seen her mother eaten, her brother chopped up and her father have his heart torn out. She’s seen her elder sister share the heart with the captive.

        Next thing you know, she’s happily licking gore off the wild woman’s fingers, before they all go off into the woods together hand in hand? Er, what? she’s about 5.

        Fuck off.

      • kloipy says :

        Jonah- the dog is the the families child, born without eyes, that they’ve kept in a cage her whole life. The family knows because he sends them out there to feed her (along with their actual dogs) so it makes no sense that this woman they capture is from a clan of feral people and at this same time, this family just happened to keep their own child as a feral child

      • Jarv says :

        Are there actually dogs out there? I don’t think so, to be honest.

      • koutchboom says :

        I once rescued a dog with no eyes, it was funny when I was trying to get it, it fucking ran into a big brick mailbox and 2 hub caps.

      • Jarv says :

        Ah, but that was actually a dog. This is a woman pretending to be a dog.

  4. ThereWolf says :

    Well done with a review of what sounds like malignant filth.

    I’m not watching that.

    • Jarv says :

      Don’t it’s reprehensible shit. What’s surprising, though, is that there are a huge amount of positive reviews out there- Goregirl, for example, who should no better gave it a maximum.

  5. tombando says :


  6. tombando says :

    Cant imagine my going to see this, pure shite on a shingle. You can bet Beaks and Harold are bathed inside their own doritos and spooge encrusted sweatsoaked Cokey themed underoos after an 8 hour marathon of this drek.

    Jarv, as always, took one for the team.

  7. Continentalop says :

    I sometimes read into things too much, but I suspect Jarv that your review is a metaphor for you having to watch and review a horribly shitty movie.

  8. Droid says :

    This is the second time in two days I’ve given this movie my precious time. It sounds like complete and utter shit and I will never watch it.

    • Jarv says :

      That was one of my better rants. I thought so, anyway.

      • Jarv says :

        In not at all shocking news, apparently Solomon Kane is shit according to Gingertown.

      • Droid says :

        Eh? Fucking dimwits.

        Solomon Kane FTW!!!

      • Jarv says :

        Caught me by surprise as well.

        This NEEDS to make money, because SK2 is intended to be a straight adaptation of one of the Howard Stories with him in Africa- and that could be amazingly badass.

      • Droid says :

        It won’t I don’t think. It might make a few million, but I think it’s coming out on demand at the same time. It may make some cash on dvd though.

      • Droid says :

        What would be the third film in the B-Movie Trilogy from around that time? Solomon Kane, Outlander and… Centurion? That’s an awesome triple bill right there. I’ve got all three on bluray. Might have to make a night of it one time.

      • Jarv says :

        It had a $40m budget! And despite being shafted managed to make $20m in everywhere but America. Where it hasn’t been released. However, it was number 1 in DVD sales in several countries including the UK, so I bet you it’s in the black now.

      • Droid says :

        That’s good. But enough to warrant a sequel? I’d love one, but if I’m realistic I don’t see it happening.

        Depends on what type of cinema release it’s getting. If it’s being dumped in a few cinemas then it’s not going to have the opportunity to make much.

      • Jarv says :

        No, it isn’t. It may get an STV sequel on a fraction of the budget. Which won’t get purefoy back.

      • Droid says :

        Dunno. Purefoy hasn’t exactly kicked on after Kane. He’s done some UK TV stuff. He had a role in John Carter. I think, if it’s not a DTV where they’re actually trying to make a decent film instead of just using a familiar name to cash in bit, then he could come back for it.

      • Droid says :

        I haven’t seen too many DTV movies, but I did watch Hollow Man 2 with Slater. I would actually recommend it. It’s made on a fraction of Verhoeven’s budget, and it really showcases some solid use of effects to portray the invisible man. It’s a good effort. A bit muted because of the limitations of budget, but a milion times better than I expected.

      • Jarv says :

        Starship Troopers 3 is good.

        It’s not impossible.

      • Droid says :

        And where it trumps Verhoeven’s movie is that the invisible man stays outside. It doesn’t contrive an inexplicable character decision to go back to the underground lab for a lazy “what’s around the corner? Boo!” last act.

      • Jarv says :

        That’s hopeless that nonsense. The original Invisible Man didn’t have him returning to the lab.

      • Droid says :

        It’s astonishingly lazy and creatively bankrupt. Which is all the more astonishing because that’s not something I’d ever have attributed to Verhoeven before that.

        It’s such a shame because the first half is excellent.

      • Jarv says :

        Or since either.

      • Jarv says :

        Purefoy and the Director both want to make Kane in Africa, or whatever it’s called. It’s on the interviews on the DVD. If Silent Hill 2 is good/ a success, then I hope they get back.

        I told you the story about Kane, didn’t I? It was part of 3 films including The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. The idea was that Dr. P would make enough to cover the other 2, and anything they made would be profit and would go to funding the Kane sequel. Ledger’s death actually resulted in them cancelling the other film, and rushing Kane out to try to get anything they could back. In theory, they could (if it’s made enough) come back for Kane 2 as an STV effort. Wouldn’t bet on it, though.

        It’s a shame, because almost everyone involved in Kane was really into it.

      • Droid says :

        I just realised it probably sounded like I was complaining. Like I wasted my time or something. Apologies for that. I’m running on not much sleep and my brain isn’t functioning properly.

        To clarify, I’ve given this film as much attention as it is ever going to get from me. Both yours and kloipys reviews were far too good for the subject matter.

      • Jarv says :

        That’s alright. It was done more to get the rant out of my system before the shitburger that is Crossing Delancey. I’ve got the Bounty Hunter as well. Yay.

        Or not.

      • Droid says :

        Have you watched Bounty Hunter yet?

        Don’t forget I Don’t Know How She Does It and 2 Days in New York.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s the Lovefilm fiasco experiment.

        Couldn’t believe it. The sodding Bounty Hunter first out of the gate. The only way it could have been worse was Greenberg.

      • Droid says :

        There’s not much that’s worse than Bounty Hunter.

        It’s awful.

  9. Tysoncarter says :

    So did you like the film or not? 🙂 I thought it was awful, but I wish I had your way with words & hatred towards it. Nice write up!

    • Jarv says :

      Thanks for the kind words-

      Absolutely hated it. It’s a very special type of film that gets this treatment off me. I’m much less professional than Kloipy.

      • Tysoncarter says :

        At least your passionate, always good to see. I was suckered into this movie by all the glowing ratings and reviews from ‘critics’. They must of seen a different film.

      • Jarv says :

        I was skeptical, because I think McKee is a hack, and didn’t like May, while hating the Woods. The sheer number of glowing reviews out there has left me nonplussed.

        Pah, still, as Ghandi said, even in a minority of one the truth is still the truth.

      • Droid says :

        Since you love these movies so much, you should do I Spit On Your Grave remake. Or the original, I don’t know. I haven’t seen either of them. But as far as I understand it, it’s another attempt at the female empowerment theme.

      • Jarv says :

        I was thinking about that, actually. Because the original is meant to be a classic, and due to it being lengthily banned in the UK, I’ve never seen it.

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