UNDER THE SKIN (2013) Reviews and overview

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Under the Skin is a 2013 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by former music video and TV advert specialist Jonathan Glazer. It stars Scarlett Johansson and a cast of unknown actors. It is adapted from Michel Faber’s 2000 novel of the same name, about an alien sent to Earth by a rich corporation to prey on unwary hitchhikers. The film is set in Scotland.


” …it eschews the campy T&A of something like Species to instead explore sexuality, identity, and loneliness while still racking up a body count and delivering memorable visuals, an eerie atmosphere (credit in part here to Mica Levi‘s haunting score), and scenes of real terror. ” Film School Rejects

” …. plays as a kind of malarial dream, bathed in cold sweat and seeing hallucinations in every corner. Johansson proves bizarrely engrossing as the unnamed succubus, fetchingly augmented with jet-black hair and blood-red lipstick, who drives a van around Scotland in search of her prey. The men she meets are bored and horny and can’t believe their good fortune.” The Guardian


“The point of the film is not to see an alien at work among us but to see us from an alien’s point of view. And it works with very little in the way of a screenplay and even less obvious explanation – but with a send of mystery and wonder that a good filmmaker can manufacture through style and atmosphere.” London Evening Standard

“In the hands of a lesser director, Under the Skin would never succeed at such masterful manipulation. But this isn’t a movie you watch so much as experience. It’s like taking a warm bath in pure nightmare fuel. Rolling Stone

“The story is (again, purposely) presented with enough ambiguity to leave it open to multiple interpretations, the atmosphere Glazer constructs is an entirely unique one, and the cinematography and visual effects are flat-out breathtaking. All of which lead me to want to like Under The Skin more than I did, and prevent me from actively disliking it as much as it could be argued it deserves to be.” Trash Film Guru

” … initial intrigue gives way to repetition and tedium. Glazer has always been longer on atmosphere and uncanny moods than on narrative, but the fatal flaw of Under the Skin isn’t that not much happens; it’s that what does happen isn’t all that interesting. The world as seen through alien eyes, it turns out, looks much like the world as seen through the eyes of a schizophrenic…” Variety


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