Directed by Eli Horowitz, The Cow stars Winona Ryder as Kath, a 40-something plant enthusiast, who travels deep into the Redwoods with her boyfriend Max (John Gallagher Jr.) for a quiet getaway. When Kath and Max arrive at the cabin they discover that another couple, Al (Owen Teague) and Greta (Brianne Tju) are already staying there. Reluctantly they all stay the night and in the morning both Max and Greta are gone. Kath, who is ambivalent at best about her relationship, becomes increasingly bothered with Max’s disappearance. She reaches out to the cabin owner Barlow (Dermot Mulroney) who helps her search for both Max and Greta. However, not everything as it seems as she discovers that the parties involved have some nefarious intentions.
The Cow is a bit of a mess. It can’t overcome its flimsy premise despite its stellar leads (Ryder and Mulroney) and the intriguing twists and turns. There is a giant plot hole (that I can’t reveal because it’s a major spoiler) that, for me, really ruins the movie. I wanted to like this more than I did. It’s an interesting concept but just poorly executed.
The Cow had its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.