The Beauty And The Beast narrative has dominated pop culture for weeks, leading up to the live-action remake’s premiere earlier this month. The movie shows the literal fairytale version of being held against your will by a dangerous man; Belle finds true love, an entire personal library, and endless servants in her abduction situation, which happens in about 0 per cent of other similar cases.
Netflix’s newly-released film The Most Hated Woman In America gives a sobering, realistic take on what happens when an opinionated, iconoclastic woman is abducted and held captive for an excessively long period of time. And it’s not pretty.
In the streaming service’s new movie, real-life famed Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair (Melissa Leo), her son, and her granddaughter are all taken prisoner by a former employee named David Waters (Josh Lucas), who plans on extorting $1 million from them. There are no singing candlesticks voiced by Ewan McGregor to be found and no one saves anyone from wolves. Instead, it’s all generally terrifying and fear hangs over the entire motel.
The situation is scariest for the women in the room, elderly Madalyn and granddaughter Robin (Juno Temple). When Madalyn, who needs a cane to walk, begins to criticize her captor for a “fucked up” plan, the mood gets even darker, as David tells his former boss, “Shut up, you’re not in charge here.” She doesn’t shut up, so the con-man pulls the safety on his handgun and holds the weapon to the older woman’s head.
The threat of sexual menace constantly follows Robin during her imprisonment, with co-conspirator Gary Karr constantly leering at the 30-year-old and making unwanted advances. At one point he opens up the bathroom door on Robin while she’s in a towel.
The tragic turn of Most Hated Woman comes when Gary turns threats into action and grabs at Robin, who’s just gotten out of bed and isn’t wearing pants. The camera fades to black and when it comes back, the young woman’s lifeless body is slumped over on the floor. She doesn’t have a pulse. Soon enough her entire family is suffocated to keep the all victims quiet, with Madalyn dying last.
There is no happy ending in this story, which reminds us how scary being abducted truly is. After seeing Belle’s perfect yellow dress we all needed the reality check.