The Woman

This week we tackle a difficult-to-watch request from another loyal listener. Right in line with Lucky McKee's incredibly female-centric filmography, The Woman is an uncomfortable watch that gave us a lot to discuss and consider.

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The Woman (2011)

Episode 252, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, today we start off with another request. This is by Andrew. We haven’t done requests for awhile, so we thought we would get back to some of these after our 250th episode, blow out and do a film called the woman.

This is a movie by lucky McKee. We’ve done. Uh, we’ve done a couple movies, but, well, we’ve done may by lucky McKee on our podcast before. And then there was a really intriguing segment on an anthology film called XX that we did called the box, uh, which lucky Mickey also directed. He’s had a really interesting filmography as far as horror is concerned and, and mostly horror is what he’s done back in the day.

There was an author named HP Lovecraft, perhaps you’ve heard of him and he mentored a guy named Robert block. Perhaps you’ve heard of him as well. Uh, among other things he wrote psycho and Robert block mentored an up and coming writer back in the early eighties named Jack Ketchum. And Jack Ketchum wrote a bunch of horror novels as well.

One of them was called off season. He wrote off season in 1981. It was his first novel. And it was based on the same kind of incident that West Craven used, uh, as subject matter for his well, the Hills have eyes, which is about a crazy cannibal family that goes in, you know, gets, uh, starts terrorizing basically a suburban families traveling.

And, uh, then he writes a sequel to that novel. Offspring. This is a sequel to the novel offspring, the woman co-written with lucky McKee and lucky McKee is our director of this film. So this is how all of this ties together. This is a sequel of a sequel, this film centers around the last of a clan of cannibalistic, feral humans running around.

Um, and it’s about this woman who is captured by a guy. Well, he decides to more or less forced his family to try to civilized. I mean, right. This is a really interesting movie. I mean, uh, as soon as I started watching it, I was like, Oh, okay. This is a movie with a social message. I think much like may was before I really.

Really liked that movie. It was shocking. It had a shocking ending, almost a kind of ambiguous ending as well as I remember. Yeah. But it was very much centered around this woman and basically how she was tormented by people and specially guys and mistreated. And so it’s a very feminist type movie. Am I wrong about that?

Craig: Well, menaced by guys, I don’t know, like she was just such an awkward person and like, that’s the thing that I like about MEI it’s much darker than the stuff that I’m usually drawn to. Um, but I felt so much empathy for may. The main character. I felt so bad for her. And of course she was doing terrible things, but.

Even. So I just felt that the movie was very sad. Obviously this girl was damaged and had problems, but it ultimately, I was left feeling that the world had let her down. And, and I, I felt bad for the predicament that she found herself. And even though she was doing terrible things, it’s dark and this movie is dark too.

There’s also a follow-up movie to the woman called darlin. When I saw the woman the first time, which has been a while ago, I didn’t know that it was a cul in any way to a book, to a movie, nothing. I just thought it was a standalone movie. And I think that it works as a standalone movie and I’ve not seen offspring.

It’s kind of hard to find. You can find it, you can rent it on Amazon and on some other platforms, but I haven’t seen it. I’ve watched the trailer and I’ve read some reviews of it. And it looks very much like. A sister movie of the Hills have eyes this movie though. I can see how it is a follow-up to something like that is not like that.

It’s, it’s very different. In fact, it’s almost a reversal, you know, whereas in something like apparently offspring, which I haven’t seen, but the Hills have eyes where these wild feral people are preying on, you know, like a suburban family, this flips it. And it’s the suburban family who are preying on this.

Woman. Um, and it’s weird. This is a movie that’s been on my personal list for us to do for quite a long time. I think that I’ve mentioned it several times, but it’s never been like, Oh, come on, we have to do it. It’s just like, ah, let’s get around to it eventually. And Andrew requested it last week and it was just a good excuse to finally do it.

And more than I was looking forward to rewatching the movie, I was really interested to see what you thought of it because it’s, it’s very dark and nihilistic and that’s not typically your cup

Todd: of tea, right. Uh, it’s not really typically by my cup of tea. And I would say that especially lately, you know, I’ve been looking for escapism in my films and when things get so dark and so nihilistic it’s like, you know, the world has already gotten so dark lately that.

I don’t really need to revisit that, but that being said, I do enjoy these kinds of movies. If I feel like they have something to say in particular. And the thing about this film now, I hadn’t seen it before this I, this is my first time watching it as well. One thing that I have to say about this movie, I was a little disappointed.

Especially considering this in his Uber guar. Right. I really liked Mae. I thought may had some depth. It was weird. The movie was a little strange. The girl was a little strange. Yeah. It was a slow film that really took its time. And it was like a character study. You know, we got to know this girl and we got to see the depth of her oddness.

It just felt complete and round and whole, and then it took some really interesting turns and you could see how people interacted with her and how they almost used her in their own ways, which is life, you know, we all kind of use each other. Right. Uh, and, and so it, I, it just really, really enjoyed that movie and I felt that it had a depth and then it had a kind of a.

Funky little twist at the end, that was kind of cool and a bit of a shock and, and all of that really worked well for me, the problem that I had with this movie. Now it’s a fine film. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to rag on it. But the problem that I have with this movie, especially compared to that is I felt like it was a little hollow, too preachy.

I knew what was going on almost from the very beginning, almost from the minute we get introduced to the father character in this named Chris is super sinister and you just kind of know something’s not right here. So there’s no real surprise. And the women in this family, again, from the very beginning spend most of their time and all of their scenes staring off into space, just shy of tears.

So you know that they’re troubled and repressed and something’s going on there. And it just, your, your assumption as well, this Chris, guy’s a douche bag and he’s controlling them and it turns out to be right now, the depth of that, you know, gets really messed up to put it mildly. But, but honestly, like my mother, I was already racing to those conclusions.

Yeah. Practically from the first few scenes. And so when he captures this woman and he takes her in, I’m like, Oh, I mean this, basically, this is what this is. This guy is treating her just like he treats his family, blah, blah, blah. We’re going to get to see how this plays out. Maybe we’re going to get to learn more, but at the end of the day, there were really no surprises.

And what was nice about may I, it’s not fair to compare it to another movie. I mean, these are standalone works of art, but I’m just going to say it anyway, because it’s an easy way to talk about for me, what, what I didn’t like about this movie, what comparing it to may, may like I was kind of on the edge of my seat because this girl was mysterious and I just kind of watched the onion get on peeled, you know, layer by layer.

And it was fascinating. And I just had no idea where it was going to go, you know, was she going to come around and, and which was there going to be some epiphany here? Was she going to have, what was her arc going to be like? And then it took me places I didn’t expect. And that was really cathartic. And this movie felt.

Not like that. Uh, it, it started out. It was, I understood what, what it was about pretty early on. Um, it took me about all the places I expected it to go more or less. And then, uh, you know, then there was an ending and so it never felt so real to me. I don’t know how to express it. Like, uh, not that they were caricatures, but it was just.

Well may was a very slow and dramatic movie. This was a very slow and dramatic movie, but to me it felt really drawn out as a short, this might’ve worked a lot better for me than a movie that was an hour and 45 minutes long. Um, but yeah, that’s it, that’s it in a nutshell.

Craig: Okay. I agree with you too. An extent in that I could tell from the very beginning that though this family was presenting this veneer of, you know, perfect suburban nuclear family, you could immediately tell, as you already mentioned that there was something wrong.

It’s small town, almost rural, really? And the dad is a big shot lawyer, like in a state lawyer in town and seems to be very well-respected and very well liked. And it opens up at this barbecue where, you know, it seems like a pretty tight knit community, wealthier members of this community, but suburban, nonetheless kind of in the way that they look, but you’re right.

Like just something as he presents that. Very charming Southern lawyer persona, but everybody else in the family just seems a little bit off his wife. Who’s played by Angela Bettis who played Mae, who I think must either be a dear friend of lucky McKee or amuse of his and understandably so, because I think that she’s fantastic.

She just seems a little bit removed. Like there’s nothing behind her eyes. There’s nothing behind her face.

Todd: Craig removed is a very kind way of putting it. She just looks completely spaced out the whole time. Yeah. She’s on the verge of tears at every moment. And I mean, that was just projected a mile away and that’s fine.

I mean, maybe this woman is like that, but it didn’t make for a much of a mystery. You know what I’m saying?

Craig: Yeah. You can tell immediately that the dynamics are messed up. The older daughter, Peggy played by Lauren Ashley Carter. Very. Lovely young woman. I don’t really know her from anything else. She’s sitting poolside and sh let you know, all of the other teenagers are swimming and having a good time.

And she’s, um, you know, not in a bathing suit, she’s kind of quiet and by herself. And then there’s the son, Brian, this was his first film. I believe. I, I didn’t recognize him at all, but even just, I don’t know if it was the way that it was filmed or if the way he was directed. But you could just tell that there was something off about him too.

Like he never smiles. He’s constantly kind of just leering everybody. And he sees some boys, children, but these boys are picking on a girl, a young girl who’s smaller than them. And like in the very first. The first second that I saw that I thought, Oh, Brian’s going to intercede to protect this girl. But no, he doesn’t at all.

Todd: No, he just looks at her coldly almost from afar, sitting on his basketball. Um, and then just stands up and starts shooting free throws. Like, yeah, it’s very clear yeah. That he has no interest in helping her almost, uh, just a fascination with the fact that she’s being tormented by these guys. Well,

Craig: and that’s the thing like when you get right down to the nitty gritty of this movie, I think though, I’m not sure really how successful it is nor am I sure how hard they were going at serious social messaging.

But the underlying motifs of this movie are misogyny, patriarchy to the extreme. Um, and, and Brian ends up being a very clear product of. That toxic masculinity and toxic misogyny. Not that there’s an toxic massage anyway. And so there’s one other, there’s a little girl named darlin and, you know, for the most part, she seems like a normal little girl, except for that she’s bratty.

And this isn’t out of the ordinary. It’s nothing that you would question in a real life. I don’t think, but it seems pretty clear that she’s not in any way. Motivated by any fear of authority from her mother. Like she talks back to her mom. She, she acts out, you know, little kids do that, but as the movie goes on, you realize that there’s a reason for that because the mother really has no authority.

And so it’s just weird from the beginning, they live in a nice house in the country though, you know, something’s off on the surface, pretty normal family. The dad maybes kind of seems like a Dick, but that happens, whatever things get interesting when the dad goes out on an early morning hunt and he S I guess, Oh my gosh, we skipped the beginning and I don’t want to skip the beginning because it’s weird.

The first person that we see is the woman. And she’s this wild, dirty feral woman, apparently living in the woods. The thing that’s bizarre to me, And I have no idea if it’s connection to the previous film, she’s like walking in a river and she like kills or injures a wild dog, like in a dinner or something, but then she’s running through the woods and looking just above the camera and the camera work is all very stylized, like almost dreamlike.

And then. There’s a baby in like a wolves. Dan,

Todd: I got the, I got it. The impression she was having a dream here. You’re right. It’s super stylized. It’s very dreamlike. It’s actually unlike any of the rest of the film, which is almost the complete opposite close cuts and these fades and these cross fades and these, uh, super impositions of different, you know, footage of her running through the woods and sleeping and her running through the woods and sleeping some more and like killing the something and sleeping.

And then you’re right. Like a baby that’s laying down in a nest of sorts. That’s being kind of trolled by wolves. And I imagined what this was, was like her origin story. I kind of thought it would, this was, Oh, this is like a baby for one reason or another was raised by wolves because at one point the baby, like the Wolf kind of.

It kind of looks like it’s feeding something to the baby and then the baby kind of, kind of peels away. And the baby’s mouth is bloody and this hand is bloody and it’s kind of smiling and all that, that, that was my impression of what this meant anyway.

Craig: See, and I think that there’s also an underlying motif of, I don’t know if this is the right word, but maternity or motherhood, you think maybe she

Todd: was pregnant

Craig: or had been because she’s also injured in her abdomen?

Um, I don’t know what I do know. Okay. So the, the dad sees this woman while he’s hunting. He goes back home and he forces his family. In his absence, he doesn’t help at all. He forces them to clean out the seller and he doesn’t tell them why. It’s basically just like, you’ll see. And then the next day he goes back out into the woods.

And as she’s emerging from her little din, this woman, he throws a net on her, encaptures, her, knocks her out with the butt of his rifle, drags her back home and puts her in the cellar and strings her up on this like pulley and lever system in the cellar.

Todd: Craig, real quick. Let’s talk about when he’s out hunting and he sees her, he’s not almost in these, like almost not the least bit shocked that there is a woman running wild back there.

And also he’s like scoping her out, literally through the scope of his rifle. Like you might Lear at somebody through binoculars like that, except for in his, in his case, it’s through the scope of the

Craig: rifle. It’s the male gaze. Yeah. Yeah. It’s the male gaze through the, the site of a rifle, the litter she’s bathing.

Todd: Yeah. The editing is kind of interesting here too, because he sees her bathing and it really Lears on her breasts and her shirt is flapped open or whatever. And then she kind of tucks her breasts in and starts to walk away. But then there’s like a cut. Her breasts are exposed again, but then they’re not, and then they’re exposed again.

They’re not, and you get the sense that, Oh, like, you know, this is what he’s leering at. This is his imagination. It’s kind of mixing the

Craig: two. Right. I, I agree the sound design adds to that too, because there’s a lot of music in this movie. Um, and the second that he spots her, like this loud music comes in, it makes it very evident that he’s immediately aroused by this.

Um, I mean, you can tell what his thoughts and intentions are. Immediately. And

Todd: for me, it’s a little too on the nose, man. You know, like he’s highlighting this woman scoping around through the scope of his rival. That music just kind of was the cherry on the top, you know, it’s just like, okay, I get it.

Craig: And I understand what you’re saying, but I almost feel like that was purposeful.

I feel like this movie, there’s something about it that, that removes it just enough from reality, right? It almost seems like a fantasy or a really, really dark fairy tale or terrible, uh,

Todd: of sorts. That’s a really good point, Craig, what you just said, like the music and the sound design is off-kilter enough and even the acting, and I don’t know if it was just because the acting in some points wasn’t so great.

Or if it was just intentionally that way. You know what I mean? Like there were parts in which I felt it, it came across so false that I thought in a sense, he’s just trying to create an unreal quality to this movie. Like we’re going to deal with unreal subject matter. So let’s just kind of fantasize the whole thing and make the whole thing, the sort of, kind of male fantasy gone awry or whatever.

Maybe it’s smarter than I’m giving it credit for, but it still came across in the viewing of it as like a little too on the nose. Let

Craig: me just put it that way. Yeah. And I, I agree with you and I get that. I E the dad brings this woman back, ties her up, and then he just introduces the family to her. Well, before he introduces the family to her, he’s kind of leering at her and touching her.

She’s still unconscious, but as he’s like, Fingering her face, she wakes up and she bites his ring finger off, like at least, you know, up to the second knuckle. And it’s very satisfying, frankly, because he’s so smarmy and gross. And the woman who plays the woman, Pollyanna McIntosh, she’s very good. She’s very good at playing this very feral and very animalistic.

She has these very unnatural, inhuman grunts, uh, that she, that she communicates with. It seems like she’s verbal, but she doesn’t speak English. Um, and I read. That the movie evolved as things do in creation. I guess in the first film, these feral people communicated with one another with language and it was subtitled, but in this, we don’t get any subtitles, but I did read that after she bites his finger off and he’s all pissed off and he comes back into punish her.

He fires a rifle right next to her ear. Basically deafening her in one ear and, and threatening her to behave because he wants to introduce the family. He brings the family in the sun seems to fascinated because here’s this, you know, wild half naked woman. It it’s gross. Like, uh, that, that, that little boy who played this role, I give him.

Props because he plays it so well, but I’m like, Ooh, like he’s just so creepy. And the little girl darlin, she’s more fascinated than anything that he’s presenting this woman as though she’s a pet, like as though she’s some wild animal that they have captured and, and plan to domesticate. Um, and it’s a parent that the mother bell and the oldest daughter, Peggy, they are appalled, but have no idea what to do because they have no power.

And there are several scenes where the woman locks eyes with either of these women, either bell or Peggy and the direction, and the cinematography does a good job. I think of making it evident that she is trying to communicate with them through eye contact alone. She is, you know, they are communicating, she’s pleading with them.

They have feelings of compassion. Seemingly I read that, uh, In one of the earlier incarnations of the script, she was supposed to speak to them in Gaelic, which I guess her tribe spoken, I don’t know. And she was supposed to say something like, will you help me mothers? Because obviously the, the mom is a mom, but something that becomes increasingly evident as the movie goes on is that Peggy is pregnant too.

Uh, it’s so gross. And there are moments when it really seems like they are connecting with her and that they might want to help her. But. They’re so beaten down or, or in fear of consequences from the dad that there’s, they’re, they’re powerless. They’re helpless.

Todd: Yeah. Well, I mean, there is that bit where they go into clean her off.

So the dad has got them. I mean, first of all, I’ve got to hit this. Like she bites his finger off. He turns around to her and anger. And I, I mean, obviously it’s also symbolic, right? Like a bites off his ring finger, his wedding ring falls around all this stuff. And then he turns around and says to her that is not civilized behavior, that he, you know, he has strapped up downstairs and it’s like, you have clearly a very ironic line, but also I kind of rolled my eyes at how ironic the line was.

Craig: And that’s the thing right here. There’s good dialogue. Um, in this part where he entered when he introduces the family to her too, because he. Presents it in such a nonchalant way. Like that’s part of the reason why, you know, that this family is, I’m sorry, you’re going to have to either believe me or pardon my language, because I can’t just help from saying that this family fucked up and this guy is up.

Yeah. Just the way that he talks to his family. Like he, he presents her and then the wife’s like, what is this? And. He says, we’re going to have to share in the responsibility for caring for her. Um, we’re going to train her and civilize her. This is our project and it’s a secret one. And he also says, which becomes significant later in the most twisted of ways.

It’s the same as taking care of the dogs. Um, and this entire movie is scored by a background of dogs constantly. And there’s constantly, yeah. He referenced to him reminding either of the older children to go care for the dogs. Like every five minutes. There’s some reference to the dogs,

Todd: go feed the dogs or something like that.

Yeah.

Craig: There’s a payoff in the end, but. Just the way that he approaches it with the family is so messed up.

Todd: I mean, if you see it as like a fairy tale and so you take a kind of aloof, uh, look at it and don’t try to see this as real, but all as sort of allegory and whatever, that’s fine. You know, then, like I said, these sort of ironic lines it’s okay.

But I mean, at that point where they’re staring at this woman, it is so obvious that the women are completely terrified and speechless. He stands there just talking very matter of factly about this, cause this is our project. And then as the women walk away, Brian, the boy with kind of a leering look on his face, turns to his dad and says, do we get to keep her.

Like she’s some pet, I’m sorry, Craig. But for me, I was just like, Oh God, this is so it’s too much really, you know, it’s too obvious. It’s, it’s unreal. It’s over, it’s over the top and unreal, which is fine. Okay. Now that I’ve watched a movie, it’s fine that we’ve got, you know, that this is what it’s going to be.

All right. So anyway, so, you know, peg peg is scared of her dad and can’t concentrate. Dad goes in and has a weird conversation with peg where she’s staring off into the distance. And I mean, she’s like she never makes eye contact with him whatsoever. And then the mom comes in in the background and shadow to overhear it.

And then the mom confronts the dad and says, look, uh, I think this may, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this. And he just slaps her and walks away, which. Okay. Yeah, that’s kinda what I expected. It’s it’s shocking, but yeah, that’s what

Craig: it just goes to bed. It is shocking because Chris isn’t, he, you know, like a superhero type guy, but he’s tall and a lean and Angela bedus is a small woman meek in her appearance, or she can make herself appear that way in her roles.

And she just very softly says, are you sure we should be doing this or something like that? And just immediate it’s so fast. He just slaps the shit out of her. Um, and she just stands there and takes it. And he does it in the same way that one might. Give their partner, a kiss on the cheek and walk away.

Like it’s just so casual gets ready for bed and goes to bed and says, come on, babe, time for bed. And she just goes and sits on the corner of the bed. It just establishes the dynamic of this relationship so easily. You know, she, I don’t know the word for it. I mean, she’s completely submissive to him, not out of character necessarily, but out of, she’s been beaten into submission, like a dog she’s been beaten into submission.

It’s messed up and it’s sad, but I, I feel you, when you say that, it’s just so over the top that it’s almost hard to believe. It is hard to believe. It doesn’t feel like reality. It feels like dark fantasy. It makes no sense. That anybody would just go along with this stuff. They are so on their own little Island in their house that the outside world barely even affects them.

The only kind of thing that we see from that from the outside world is that one of Peggy’s teachers clearly can tell that something is going on with her. Uh, there’s this young, pretty lesbian teacher named miss Raton, um, who is concerned about Peggy because. She’s acting differently than she had previously.

She’s dressing modestly and in baggy clothes, she’s sick in the morning. It’s perfectly apparent what’s going on, she’s pregnant and it doesn’t take much, you know, you don’t have to even put two and two together to realize that she’s pregnant by her fathers, by her father.

Todd: Cause there’s nobody else.

There’s nobody

Craig: else eventually that comes to them to a head at, at the end of the movie. So it’s not directly stated at any point early in the movie, but it’s just so obvious and that interaction where he’s talking to Peggy on her bed that could have been. Perfectly innocent, but you can just tell by how uncomfortable she is in his presence.

Like you said, she won’t even make eye contact with them. The mother is watching covertly from the shadows, you know exactly what’s going on. You know, everybody knows what’s going on. The mother knows what’s going on. It’s sick and twisted, but sad too. I’m like, it’s like may in that way that I feel bad for these women, but you know, it’s a movie.

So what are you going to do?

Todd: Well, it’s funny, you said lesbian teacher now, where did you get that idea from? Well,

Craig: one thing, um, the first time that she kind of checks in on Peggy Peggy’s daydreaming and when the teacher checks in on her, Peggy just can I be excused? And she goes to the bathroom, but she had crumpled up a piece of paper and the teacher opens it and it’s an illustration of her.

And it says, miss Dyke, then later. There’s a scene where the teacher is considering calling the family to express her concern. And she’s talking to what appears to be a coworker, but I’m pretty sure she calls her, babe. And then I also read that in early drafts of the film, there was. And implied or maybe explicit sexual relationship between the teacher and Peggy that does not play into the movie at all.

It’s it’s not, it’s absent from the movie, but in an early draft, it was there.

Todd: Yeah. The, the movie really sexualizes the teacher early on too. I mean, you know, our introduction to her is kind of a long. Draw up her legs and skirt and stuff. She turned around and talks to the class, which, you know, so the gaze is definitely on the women.

He’s definitely focusing us on the women. I, yeah, the Mrs. Dyke thing is there. I didn’t really think about it and it’s not important. It’s not important, you know, as long as she’s not having a sexual relationship with these kids with this kid is as apparently wasn’t an earlier script, which was, would have been even more bizarre and right.

I mean, my God, thank goodness that was on the cutting room floor because the movie didn’t need that complication. It

Craig: did it didn’t. But at the same time, I think that it also would have made the whole situation even more bizarre because if Peggy were queer, it would’ve made even less sense that she was pregnant and it would have made, you know, there would have been no doubt, you know, like.

There’s really no doubt here. Anyway, there’s no other boys and they, they make a point of that. You know, she’s not seeing anybody, in fact, at the pool party in the beginning, a cute boy who apparently she had at one point, been interested in, shows interest in her and she just rejects him basically outright.

Um, so there isn’t anybody else. Uh, it’s gotta be the dad and it’s gross. I, I feel like, I don’t know. I know how to proceed with this because I feel like it’s just beats, like, you know, like there are these weird plot beats that you, you mentioned that they bathed her. Yeah, well they, first of all, they try to bathe her with.

Like boiling water off the stove, which the mom bell kind of tries to object to, but the dad shuts her down as he always does when that doesn’t work, because she’s so dirty, he fucking power washes her. Like this movie is so twisted.

Todd: That is torture, torture. He just does it. So nonchalantly like is washing the car and Peggy screaming in the background.

Eventually she’s like, stop dead, stop, whatever. And the woman just kind of looks up during that bathing scene. That’s when the woman and the mother first lock eyes. And it’s, it’s clear as day that they’re communicating because this is a long drawn out deal wall. Dad is there washing, trying to wash the woman.

Mother has picked up a board from the floor and is slowly approaching and it’s their eyes and it’s the board and it’s the rise and it’s the dad distracted. And you kind of think that maybe. Mom is going to whack him over the head with the board end to this. But instead she points out, up in the corner, Hey, I’m one of the islets or whatever that he had screwed into one of the overhanging boards.

It looks like it’s going to break free, which would be a big problem. And he’s like, Oh, thank you very much for pointing that out. And she’s holding the board out and he says, this will be a good start at fixing that. And so then he turns away and then there’s another look between the two and they go away.

Craig: But that other look that, that second look like, yes, it seemed like they were communicating. It seemed like maybe a bell was going to do the right thing and help her. But then when she doesn’t, they lock eyes again. And I just happened my notes that the woman’s look is like, thanks for nothing,

Todd: bro. And it’s an, it’s an interesting scene, right? I’m not sure what quite to make of it. I guess what we’re trying to learn here is that the wife is far gone. She’s gonna, she’s gonna be the dad, you know, the husband’s, um, lapdog through the whole thing, and she’s not going to do anything to save this woman.

This woman’s only chance at redemption comes from Peggy, because Brian is get is, is right alongside dad and getting sick and twisted, you know, feelings along with it. The

Craig: dad gets up in the middle of the night, like he’s being sneaky, like the bell totally as awake and knows that he’s leaving and knows what he’s doing.

Todd: Yeah. And like he’s done it before many, a times probably with her, her daughter. Yeah. Yeah.

Craig: Yes. And Brian is awake too. Brian follows his dad out there and watches, his dad raped this woman. Like it’s so twisted. It’s disgusting. Uh, I mean, and it is the thing is though. The content is so gross, but it’s really not super graphic.

No,

Todd: surprisingly it’s

Craig: suggested Everett. I mean, it’s more than suggested, you know exactly what’s happening, but it’s not graphic. Um, and it’s depiction, but it doesn’t have to be it’s disturbing enough.

Todd: But again, my God, Craig, this is just, it’s like an ABC afterschool special, but like none I ever watched, but you know what I’m saying?

The dad does the thing. And then the it’s an example to the son and the son literally watches it. And then what happens the next day? The sun goes down to reenact what dad?

Craig: Well, but th the next day, first of all, we see them in the morning and we see Chris going off to work and he says to Brian, so you got have day to day.

Yeah. And. Brian’s like, yeah. And he’s like, well, what are you gonna do with all your spare time? And Brian’s like, I don’t know. And Chris says to him, don’t do anything. I wouldn’t do

so grouse.

Todd: So it’s like, okay dad. And he goes down and he basically tries to rape her just like his dad did

Craig: even worse because unbeknownst to him, Peggy is home. But Brian is even more twisted than his dad because he doesn’t just molest this woman, which he does, but he tortures her

Todd: pliers,

Craig: dabs her with needle-nose pliers and tears.

One of her nipples off again, we don’t see it happen. We just hear the woman’s screams. And because Peggy has stayed home sick. She runs out and stops him. The aftermath of this. I was talking to my partner last night about the movie, and I said, you would have hated this movie. I’m so glad I didn’t make you watch it.

And I said the movie again, pardon my language. You know, I think about those people who contact us and are like, thank you for not swearing all the time. But I swear sometimes, sorry. I said to him, this movie is set up from the beginning. And then in the last 25 minutes, it’s like,

so messed up, like from, from the point that you see the mom and Peggy have Brian sat down at the table, waiting for the dad to come home so that they can tell the dad what he’s done from that moment on it is just. A nightmare. It was insane.

Todd: It’s too much. I mean, dad comes home and what does he literally say when they tell him what happened?

Oh, he’s a boy. Adolescents have urges. Boys will be boys. I mean, it’s a, nobody got hurt. Nobody got hurt. It’s a, it’s a litany of every single thing that, you know, the me too movement has said, you know, this is bullshit that guys tell their, their sons. Uh, and this is why we have such rampant misogyny in American culture.

You know, again, I’m sorry. Ma’am, it’s just way too much on the nose for me that I was just disconnected from it. It was screwed up. It was after, but I couldn’t feel it was real enough that I felt that emotional. Connection that it wasn’t just a play happening, a morality play happening in front of you. So maybe that’s a good thing.

Cause I mean, you know, if it had felt real, I would have needed to take a cold shower after this and felt damaged myself.

Craig: Well, that’s the thing, like I feel like as an English teacher, I should be able to come up with a better word, but it’s almost like satire, like it’s exaggerated to an extreme to make a point.

And I get, I get the point that they’re trying to make. I get the point about patriarchy and misogyny. And it’s specifically in this part, how that is passed down through generations. Um, and, and, you know, Brian has learned this by watching his father. And it’s been allowed to continue to some extent, and I’m not women blaming here at all, but to some extent, because the women have allowed it to continue at this point now because of that, that gets into, but that gets into a whole issue of power dynamic, too.

It’s not so much they’re allowing it. It’s that, you know, what choice do they have? They have been brow beaten into accepting it, which is why I love this next part, because once he says all those things, bell finally for the first time in the whole movie shows some humanity, she’s an actual person and she blows up and please, you know, Angela Bettis, I really, really think is a very talented actress and.

The shift here. It’s almost like the veneer breaks. Like she just can’t do it anymore. And that’s what she says. I can’t do this anymore. You can’t do this. And little bombshells are dropped here too. She’s like, how, how long do you think you can get away with this? She says, even what’s going on out there with the dogs would be enough to put you in prison.

And when I first heard that, I’m like, well, yeah, it doesn’t seem like they’ve been taking very good care of them. You know, maybe that you can get, you know, some animal abuse, serious a thing. Um, yeah. When she says that and, and really she loses it. She, she is really, you know, going in on him. He looks at her and I did not.

The first time I watched this, I did not put this together at all. I don’t even think that I knew what he was saying, that he shouts in her face and uptown Mia. That is your shame. You remember that? Did you catch that? And did you know what he was talking about? Well, first of

Todd: all, I didn’t know what that was until I looked it up later.

So no, and no, I didn’t catch that. I actually had that all went right by

Craig: me. I mean, it’s, it’s, uh, I guess we can save it for the big reveal. Something is going on out there with the dogs that we don’t know about. And when he throws that in her face, she says, I never condoned what you did. And he says, yeah, well, what are you going to do about it?

And that. Is maybe one of the more troubling lines for me, because I feel like that is so the position that abused women find themselves in, right? They feel so powerless. Um, and these men, and it’s not just men, any abusive person, they convince people that, what are you going to do? You have no power. I have all the power.

What are you going to do? And she says, I’m gonna, I’m gonna leave you. And she says, I’m taking the girls with me. You can keep your little rapist son for yourself. You seem to be teaching him, you know, just right. Um, but you’re not going to hurt me or my girls anymore. And when she says that he. Beats the shit out of her.

Yeah. Not like

Todd: horrible. Almost comically. Really. The teacher rings the doorbell and the girl goes to the tour while dad and the son are picking up mommy, he’s like, Oh, mom’s going to be fine. Go get her a wet rag, you know, whatever. And help me here at the same time, the, the girl answers the door, you know, like, like they’ve had to do this a thousand times before.

And the son of the dad are very casually, you know, not at all concerned that someone’s coming to the door, setting mom up at the table and, uh, And the teacher comes over and she, you know, she’s here to visit, to talk to the parents about what she thinks, you know, what she’s discovered about their daughter possibly being pregnant.

And the dad walks right over and says, Hey, how are you doing? Oh yeah, you’re the, you’re the geometry teacher. Great. Come on in, have a seat, sits her down right there in the room. And then, you know, she has a clear view of mom’s sitting at the table unconscious and he’s just kind of looks over and says, Oh, you know, she’s not feeling well, taken a power nap.

And then he says a line that I think was, was clever and significant as the teacher’s like, well, I would like to speak with you and your wife alone. And he says, we have no secrets in this family. Yep. And I’m like, yeah, well, truer words were never, were never spoken yeah. By him. But he’s like, yeah, you’d bring my, you can talk.

Why don’t, if it’s about my daughter, why don’t we bring peg in here? And she sits down and he’s like, and then. The Brian, come on in. You, you need to hear this too. You know, she lays out her idea that peg is pregnant and he goes ballistic on her quickly. He confronts her and says, what are you suggesting?

She doesn’t have a boyfriend if she had a boyfriend, I would know. So are you suggesting it was Brian, like that’s out of left field, right? For the tension? No, of course. What the hell are you talking about? It’s like, and are you, you must be suggesting it’s me. And she’s looking at him like, he’s crazy. And he’s like, well, you certainly are.

And I’ll have nothing of it. And then he whacks her out and that. This was the first surprise of the movie for me. So he knocks her out against the door and tells Brian, go get a rope. And this is what the camera, where it gets kind of interesting. Like they go for that whole Bob Clark, like wide angle camera and these closeup shots where everything’s a little chaotic and a little more dreamlike, just because it’s a little more distorted.

But, uh, he drags her out with Brian’s help outside ties her by the rope to the fence. And the same time peg is running after him screaming. You can’t do this, you can’t. And he she’s

Craig: my teacher, she’s my

Todd: friend. Yeah. And he, for the first time, just once again, then just grabs her by the neck and the camera’s spinning around him.

And he just lays into her. And one, one thing that he says, you’re all the same women are all the same. You and your sisters. Sisters and I did not escape me

Craig: only. Good. You’re only good for one thing and half the time, you’re not even any good at that.

so nasty. I mean, because he’s, he’s clearly speaking to her specifically, not just about women in general, but to her specifically, uh, it’s so nasty. Well, they, he and Brian drag, this poor woman who was just trying to help and do the right thing, um, drag her in and throw her in the dog. Pin. And these are German shepherds, unhappy German shepherds.

And so that’s very scary that she backs away towards one corner of the kennel. And the dad’s like, that’s a bad idea. And there’s like a little dog Hutch in the back and out of this dog Hutch bursts, this wild feral girl disfigured with a face deformity. That, that thing that he had said that, uh, anophthalmia what that is, is a congenital disorder where a child is born congenitally without one eye, or there’s another name for it.

They can be born without. Both eyes. Um, but what’s obviously happened here is that there had been another daughter who had born been born with a birth defect. And so they had just made her one of the dogs and that was just part of their everyday life. So every time he was telling them to go feed the dogs, they were also really feeding this.

Sister, feral sister that they had. And it’s so twisted because you realize that from the beginning, his family was shocked that you would bring in this feral woman, but he’s done it before. They’ve been living their life like this for ever. Yeah. Oh, it’s so dark and twisted and disgusting. And the feral sister kills the teacher while that is happening.

Peggy runs. And I don’t know what inspires her to do this, but I think that it was the smart thing to do. She runs and she releases. The woman.

Todd: Yeah. This is what you’re waiting for. And you’re hoping that this moment is going to come and it comes and it’s entirely satisfying. Yeah. Yep. She picks up a big piece of metal.

It’s like a knife or like,

Craig: um, it’s like a mower blade.

Todd: Yeah, it is. And the first thing she does is go after Brian, Brian, and the data been watching the teacher get eaten with a sick fascination. Like this has happened before. Almost really. Here’s the thing, like, there’s been a kind of motif through this movie where the mother keeps baking these cookies.

They’re like gingerbread men with the little girl. And, uh, there’s a T you know, when Brian gets the gingerbread man, he chops it in half with his hand before he eats it. It’s just supposed to show that he’s. Such a brutal guy or something. And this, he does this like three or four times in the movie and I’m thinking, okay, this is going to come to fruition at some point.

And it does because the woman, uh, slices twice across this Brian’s midsection. It cuts them in half. Like one of those gingerbread cookies, just

Craig: satisfying because he’s so disgusting, but eat. But even before that, as soon as the woman emerges, bell has run out, I guess, to see what’s happening. I mean, she’s terribly injured.

Like it seems like maybe her ribs are broken or maybe even her back is broken. I mean, she’s, she’s severely injured, but she makes her way out there to the cellar. And she opens the door and she sees the woman coming up the stairs and she looks at Peggy and says, what have you done? And the woman picks her up, throws her on the ground and kills her by basically eating her face off.

And then she picks her up above her head and throws her life. 10 feet away. I mean, this woman it’s ridiculous. She has superhuman strength. This is all very over the top violence. I have to say that I kind of felt bad that bill got killed. Sure. I’m a victim too. She was a victim too. Now I was, again, I was talking to my partner about it and I said, you know, when it comes right down to it, she allowed this to happen for a very long time.

But again, I don’t want to get into victim blaming. She too was a victim, but anyway, she gets it. Then Brian gets it. Then finally the dad,

Todd: no, in a way, the movie is kind of victim blaming. I mean, it’s saying that even though this woman was a victim, because she didn’t anyway, get the wherewithal to stop it.

Especially at that moment where she had the opportunity, she is just as culpable, which. Uh, I don’t know. I have a little bit of a problem with that. I mean, you can kind of just, you can kind of say, well, yeah, sure. That’s true. But on the other hand, I think we understand the psychological aspects of this.

It’s a little more complicated than that. And so I know that we’re supposed to feel happy that she got it too, because she was an enabler here. But yeah, once again, I think it really oversimplifies things and does a bit of a disservice to the point the movie is trying

Craig: to make well. And then, you know, like I said, the dad gets it too.

He, he tries to grab a weapon or something, but the woman comes up to him and just. Punches into his abdomen. Like it’s, it’s, that’s the thing like it’s, it’s not realistic. And I think again, I’ve said it already, but I feel like that’s intentional. It’s supposed to be a little bit fantastical, I think for just to drill home the message and she, you know, rips his guts out and then, you know, shoves her arm clear up into his cavity and pulls his heart out and takes a bite out of it while he’s still alive.

And then the end is very bizarre. Uh, but I like it. She comes out, um, Peggy runs and grabs darlin, and it seems like she’s gonna try to. Get them away. Meanwhile, the woman is outside and the dog girl, I feel bad even saying that about her, but you know, she is a human being, but that’s well, she does. Her name is socket.

Isn’t that nice?

Todd: Oh, that’s horrible.

Craig: Right. The dog girl comes out and the woman is like, seems confused a little bit by her, but she just treats her like a dog and kind of just when the girl growls at her, she smacks her and kind of into submission. So then this girl just kind of follows the woman around like a dog, like a dog.

The woman walks up to the house and, um, darlin runs out and hands her a bottle of water, which she drinks. And then she. Has bloody hands from the dad. She, she has the little girl lick her fingers that it’s almost like the little girl’s like, Hmm. Yeah, that was good. And, and so the woman takes darlin by the hand and just starts walking away.

So it’s her walking hand in hand with darlin followed by their family dog girl. And I had forgotten this, but in the very last seconds, it appears that Peggy starts to follow them too, as though they are all going to go off and be this new family, which is interesting and weird. But you know, now they’re like this tribe of.

Women, um, which is kind of interesting that, like I said, there is a follow-up to this movie called darlin. Peggy appears in it, but I don’t remember her being in it very much. I don’t recall dog girl being in it at all. You watched it. I did watch it. Um, it, it takes place, I would guess maybe 10 years later when darlin is a teenager and somehow Darlan gets discovered and taken away to a Catholic boarding school where they attempt to civilize her.

But the secondary story is that the woman is on a mission to retrieve her. Quote, unquote daughter, frankly, though I enjoyed the movie. It got into some really silly territory. It’s interesting. If you liked this movie, I would say, go ahead and watch it, but it gets even kind of more over the top. I mean, the woman ends up with a gun in the end.

She’s like, I don’t know. It’s kind of silly. Okay. This movie overall, to me, it’s just, I can’t say that I enjoyed it cause it’s so dark and twisted. Like it leaves you unsettled and almost feeling sick to your stomach, but. I think that it’s interesting. And I think that lucky McKee is an interesting director.

He makes interesting thought provoking movies, you know, maybe not a date movie, you know, if you’re into horror and if you’re willing to, if you’re prepared for some disturbing material, that’s at least going to get you kind of thinking, I think it’s worth the shot and it’s well-made Oh, that’s true. The acting is a little over the top.

Everything’s a little over the top. The cinematography is stylized, but I think it’s very competently made. Um, it’s very bizarre, you know, it’s very difficult to put into, you know, a category, but, uh, I don’t know, overall, I would recommend it to horror fans, but you, you kind of need to know you’re getting into something very different here.

Todd: Yeah. And I would take maybe a couple steps back from, from your position on this. I get it. I think it plays maybe better as a fairy tale. And maybe if you look at it through that lens, I would maybe look a little nicer on the movie. I just feel like this type of subject matter, which. Maybe now, I mean, the movies, why did he came out in 2011?

And so some time has passed since then. And now this me too thing is it’s not a thing it’s always been there, but you know, that this kind of realization that we have nowadays, uh, we need to very well, much recognized that this thing happens. I mean, this stuff we all should know has been happening, misogyny abuse, that kind of thing, obviously, but it’s more front and center now probably than it was in 2011.

And so I think nowadays we’re having more sophisticated conversations about it. And so, so maybe when you watch it moving nowadays, it seems a little too simplistic. It seems a little too over the top. And, uh, it’s maybe a little outdated in that way, perhaps. That’s why I kind of groaned through the whole film.

I felt like a, this subject matter deserves something a little more nuanced. Than what we got and that’s fine. I mean, look, this is horror. We do a horror podcast to horror is usually not very nuanced, but the reason I was comparing this to may is because may was a very nuanced film by the same director.

And I, I liked that. And again, subject matter, you know, the kind of plight of women in today’s society, they both share that as well. I just felt like, whereas I thought that may was a very nuanced and interesting and intriguing look at it, even though it also was fantastical. This movie was a little too fantastical to me.

It may be if it had dipped a little bit more into the realm of obvious fantasy, maybe if there were a little more magical realism in there, kind of like there wasn’t may, you know,

Craig: I I’m glad that you said that because I almost forgot. Did you watch the post credit scene?

Todd: There was a post credit scene.

How many about it? No, I didn’t know.

Craig: And it’s, it’s crazy. It’s it’s darlin like on a paper boat, on a paper. See traveling to this paper Island. Yes. And it’s, it’s all, it’s very stylized, almost like puppet theater. The only realistic thing is the young girl. Who’s the actress. And she ends up on like this tribal Island and like communicates with this.

There’s no dialogue, but like communicates with this weird papier-mache tribal God or something. Yeah. And then that’s it. And it’s just over, but just like that fantastical moment at the end of may, where it kind of seems like maybe the corpse is coming to life. This is kind of a little fantastical cap on this movie too.

I had never seen it either. I just happened to read somewhere that it was there. And so I went back and looked at it and I, it doesn’t even seem connected to the plot. Um, but it’s weird. Oh boy. Anyway, so yeah, there you go.

Todd: There’s the woman for, you know, woman. Well, thank you again for listening to another episode.

If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. You can find us online, just Google, two guys, and a chainsaw podcast. Find our Facebook page, find our homepage, leave us a comment there. Let us know what you thought of this film and our review of it. As well as leave suggestions for films we should do in the future.

Like Andrew, thank you again, Andrew, for this recommendation, we had a blast chatting about it and watching it. Until next time. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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