I don’t know why I had it set it my head that I was this big Lucky McKee fan. The only movies of his that I had seen before this were May, his episode of Masters of Horror, and Roman. May holds a nostalgic place in my heart after having seen it a few years ago at the Music Box Massacre, I might have only liked his Masters of Horror installment because even if it was only average, it was still better than most of them, and it’s possible I enjoyed Roman because Veronica Mars is in it. Have you seen that video of Veronica Mars talking about SLOTHS? Yeah, me neither. Anyways, I had just kind of assumed I would like this, despite not having seen the movie that came before this. I know it might not have been a necessity to see that film, called “Offspring“, but it probably would have helped. I guess I have no one to blame but myself for setting my expectations so high, only to be disappointed. Frowny face.
Proof that you can live in the woods and still have silky smooth armpits.
In a pretty typical suburban family, we start getting the sense that the father, Chris (Sean Bridgers), is an asshole. Turns out we were right, because he thought it was totally normal to take the feral woman (played by Pollyanna McIntosh) he saw while hunting into his wine cellar so he could turn her into a normal lady. The whole family is brought in to take part in the cleaning and feeding of this woman, and no one really complains. We learn more and more about how fucked up this family is, with implications that either the dad and/or son had raped and/or impregnated the older daughter. This doesn’t seem all that strange, considering we see the dad raping the woman he has captured as well as seeing the son twisting her nipple with needlenose pliers as he touched his boner. The only character who shows any sort of rational thought is the oldest daughter’s teacher (Carlee Baker), who stops by the house to see what the fuck is going on with this pregnant girl missing school. Sadly for her, Chris takes her out into some barn he has and she is attacked by dogs he owns, until she is eventually killed by a DIFFERENT feral person. How does this guy have such a problem with feral woodspeople going all crazy!? When she sees her teacher being attacked, the oldest daughter frees the woman from the basement who goes on to kill the mother, the father, and brother. She treats this new feral person as a pet, and then takes the rest of the surviving family into the woods to live as crazy, dirty idiots.
Bet you wish that apron protected you from getting your face ripped off and thrown around like you were a wrestler, huh?! Whoops, spoiler alert.
Doesn’t really sound all that bad, huh? I guess as far as the story goes, no, it wasn’t really all that bad. Something I think I forgot to mention is that there was a slow motion musical montage every five fucking minutes. I understand that music and score are just as important for setting the mood of a movie as much as cinematography is, but there were so many times where one musical sequence was just a segue to another musical sequence, then another, that there weren’t that many scenes without an accompanying song. Another reason why music can be useful is that if the viewer knows the song before watching the movie, they can bring that emotional attachment to that scene. Whether the scene matches the sentiments of the memories of that song, or if they are intentionally juxtaposed, it is a useful tool to enhance the experience for the viewer. That effect is completely lost when all the songs used are shitty and feel like you stumbled onto some shitty modern rock radio station. In fact, I’m sure you could mute the movie and put on some goddamn Nickleback or something and get the same experience as watching it with the volume turned up.
I’m not sure if it was intentional to release this image as an homage to the ending of Sleepaway Camp, but either way, this face is fucking terrifying.
As far as the portrayal of a feral woman, I have to give “kudos” or “props” or “respect” or whatever the fuck you kids call it to Polyanna McIntosh in this movie. She really did a good job of acting the way an animal would in that situation, which of course involved lots of screaming. That doesn’t explain how she didn’t have hair in her armpits, considering she’s a wild woodswoman, but I digress. Sean Bridgers plays a character that you hate, and I certainly did hate him, which I never know whether to commend an actor for being so detesting or if the actor was doing a bad portrayal of a character that wasn’t intended to be so grimy. Angela Bettis played a weird character, as always, so again, it’s hard to tell if she was accurately portraying a character intended to be strange and detached from her situation, or if that character was intended to be something different. There were some interesting concepts and themes, as well as a couple of good performances, but I didn’t really enjoy any of the stylistic choices that McKee made with this movie. Maybe I’m not too big a fan of his after all.
Wolfman Moon Scale