WOMEN is a film brought to us by Writer/Director Anton Sigurdsson and stars Michael Simon Hall, Anna Marie Dobbins, Anna Maiche, and Adam Dorsey.
The story focuses on the discovery of a murdered young woman. However, Detective Hawk soon realizes that other young women have been going missing in the small area, and all of them have the same professor at the local college. Unbeknownst to Detective Hawk, one of the kidnapped women tries to survive as she is prepared and tortured into being “the perfect wife” by her abductor.
To be honest, it was hard to write even the above summary because the movie loses steam before it even begins. There’s a push to be gritty like True Detective, but it never reaches the writing or emotional pull. None of the characters are all that engaging (Adam Dorsey tries his best, though) and the writing is lackluster. Detective stories are interesting to watch because the audience works with the detectives like a silent partner (i.e., The Silence of the Lambs), even when we’re seeing the victims. But in WOMEN, we never really work with Hawk. We just kind of follow him along as he spouts his lines in monotone, and has artistic flashbacks to opera music.
And the victims…Okay, so…the title is ‘WOMEN‘…which is supposed to mean something to the movie. Usually, the title is the driving force such as the memory of the lambs being slaughtered was an emotionally tense moment in The Silence of the Lambs, or importance to the story and culture of characters like Fargo, but WOMEN is barely about, well, women. I mean, sure, there’s women in it and they’re the victims…like 95% of all other thrillers/horror.
WOMEN never dives into the concept, history, or depth of womanhood, or what that specifically means to the victims. There’s a half-baked story thrown in by the killer, but this feels secondary to the whole concept and is in the killer’s perspective. But, boy, what a creative concept that would be to have womanhood and victimization explored in the thriller genre (and that’s not to say that it’s not been done, to great and poor effect), but that exploration or consideration is sorely lacking in this film. And that’s a shame because it had the potential to.
Unfortunately, WOMEN is forgettable, unengaging, and offers nothing new to the genre.
Gravitas Ventures will release WOMEN in theaters and On Demand on May 28, 2021.