Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Woman


This month Lucky McKee and brave actress Pollyanna McIntosh will be at Melbourne's Cinema Nova and Sydney's Chauvel to do Q&A's for their new shocker The Woman. The dates are August 9th and 10th respectively.

I was dying to see The Woman earlier this year, so I caved in to temptation a while ago and watched the screener rip that's been kicking around... but now I'm freshly psyched to be seeing it again in a theatre (and hopefully with an appreciative audience). The Woman is a small film, but the striking sound design and beautifully lensed rural locations and interiors should make for an atmospheric theatre experience. It's quite a unique little horror trip, radically at odds with my expectations for it (partially fueled by the hilarious reaction of that jackass at Sundance). What appeared to me at first to be a riff on Martyrs is actually a very different animal indeed, and I have a hard time thinking of another movie to compare it to.

I'm a fan of McKee's, having enjoyed everything he's done so far, including the much maligned The Woods and his unfairly criticised Masters Of Horror episode Sick Girl. May remains a riveting horror character study, and Red is an excellent Jack Ketchum adaptation (although I'm still unsure how much of McKee's work made it to the final cut there). I actually consider the man to be one of the most consistently original voices in contemporary American horror.

On another note, I imagine Ketchum must be fairly pleased with the progress of his cinematic career thus far. Chris Sivertson's The Lost was excellent (thanks in part to Marc Senter's show-stopping portrayal of height-challenged sociopath Ray Pye); Red is an effective slow-burn revenger that again benefits from a killer performance by Brian Cox; and I've yet to see (or read) The Girl Next Door, but there seems to be plenty of good will towards it amongst horror fans online. The general consensus seems to be that the last Ketchum adaptation - Offspring - was a bad misfire (can't comment)... but four out of five ain't bad! I should point out that Pollyanna McIntosh's impressive performance in The Woman is a reprisal of her portrayal of the same character in Offspring, both films having their origins in Ketchum's nauseatingly boundary-pushing splatterpunk novel Off Season.

I'll be at the screening at the Chauvel on the 10th, and I hope you can make it too. In case you haven't seen it yet, I'll leave you with this priceless gem taken from the film's inaugural screening at this year's Sundance film fest. In it you will see an apparently grown man (who seems to have stepped right out of the South Park Sundance episode) lose his shit and freak the fuck out about some sexualised violence in a fictional movie. I'd love to see his reaction to A Serbian Film!