Evil Movie Review: Under The Skin
I was super excited to watch this film and bring my review to all of you for a lot of reasons. Let’s see: Indy film, takes place in the UK, has Scarlett Johansen, aliens, and Scarlett as an alien! Really just tons of reasons to be stoked about this film. And yet it can all go wrong so quickly. Here’s my spoiler filled review and why I think this film really fell short, and quite frankly creeped the hell out of me!
What’s the premise of this film: this is a 2013 science fiction horror film. It takes place in Glasgow where what we assume is an alien species takes on the form of humans and then lures them in to a deadly situation. Specifically, Johansson’s character, who never really has a name, seduces men back to her apartment and as they strip they sink in to a black void. During one of these encounters we see them under the surface of the void, and all their innards seem to dissipate in to the liquid, leaving just a shell of skin behind. Though it is not specifically stated or revealed in the film, it appears the bodies are somehow being transformed in to meat to be eaten. To put it plainly, these scenes are disgusting. They left me feeling vulnerable, disgusted, and violated.
The film is very minimalistic, and grungy in a lot of ways. There is very little dialogue, and more observation of human behavior as well as this strange alien and her behavior. Sometimes she seems to look at people with what appears to be pity. In one scene she tries to seduce a surfer. But he leaves her on the beach to try to rescue a pair of drowning tourists. I felt that she would gain compassion for the man in his attempts to selflessly safe others. Instead she pulls his exhausted body on to the rocky shore, bashes his head in, and calls in her superior to pick up the body for processing. Both aliens just leave the sobbing toddler of the couple that drowned on the beach, where she too will likely die though from exposure. Maybe it just threw me off, but I am used to a lot of films portraying aliens as either clearly good or evil. Since Johansson is the main character, I expected her to start to regret her killing of innocent humans, yet scenes of people doing the right thing don’t seem to have that effect on her.
What does? When she tries to seduce a man with a horrific disfigurement back to her apartment. Something changes in her during that encounter, and she abandons the man, unable to hurt him. Sadly he is caught by her motorcycle riding superior but then he sets off in pursuit of her, the now fugitive alien as well. She tries to hide in the Scottish Highlands but is found by a local logger. The man tries to rape her, only to rip her human shell of skin off her back, revealing a black, featureless form of a humanoid. Terrified by it, he sets her on fire, ending this and all future interactions between this alien and people.
It’s interesting, this film won a lot of independent film awards. And it came highly recommended to me by my tattoo artist. But all it did was scare the shit out of me, and not in a good way. While I am not a huge fan of horror movies, sometimes a good zombie flick or highly anticipatory show is great. I like to job and be startled, and I love movies with monsters. But this film was scary in the disturbing, disgusting sort of way. The characters are unpredictable, and not great people, yet it’s sad to see them killed. Johansson’s alien starts out seductive and powerful but ends weak and vulnerable. And all in all it makes you feel hopeless, both for humans and potential alien species out there. As if there is really no one good, moral, or respectable anywhere in the universe, and those that have some of those characteristics will probably be killed in this dog eat dog world. Sadly this film is probably going to show up in my nightmares for years to come. Guess this movie really got under my skin.
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Posted on May 15, 2015, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged Aliens, Evil Movie Reviews, Horror, independent film, indie, Movies, Sci-Fi, under my skin, under the skin. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.