SKINAMARINK (2022) Reviews of low-budget retro horror

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Skinamarink is a 2022 Canadian retro horror film about two children who wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. Based on his short film Heck (2020), the title of Kyle Edward Ball’s first feature film Skinamarink refers to a popular preschool tune from the 1970s.

Written and directed by Kyle Edward Ball. The movie stars Jaime Hill, Lucas Paul, Ross Paul and Dali Rose Tetreault.

” …there wasn’t a single element that I actually enjoyed. From the moment it starts all the way to the moment it ends, Skinamarink is a daunting task to get through. Not because it’s so scary that you’ll have trouble watching it, but because it’s so boring you’ll find yourself wanting to turn it off every few minutes.” Caillou Pettis Movie Reviews

“A lesser horror film would squander the tension of these audiovisual spaces with cheap scares and mediocre effects (there are only one or two of these cheap and mediocre tactics here). Sitting in the tension makes it more restless, more squeamish. Kyle Edward Ball, in this feature debut, prefers to sit in the tension, to stew in.” B+ CineFiles Movie Reviews

” …Skinamarink will only appeal to the horror fans who enjoy avant-garde, experimental styles of film. Ball’s film is rewarding if you’re able to settle in and enjoy his style here. It’s a nostalgic nightmare, like a film you remember seeing when you were young but can’t remember the name of, or a dream you had when you were a kid.” 4.5 out of 5, Father Son Holy Gore

“Kyle Ball handles the tone with precision: his quirky blend of experimental and horror cinema effectively conveys the terrors of the unknown within one’s own home. That strange and indescribable fear that one feels when hearing a noise in the living room at night is captured in Skinamarink: it is a terrifying and enveloping experience whose lethargic rhythm (completely intentional) submerges you until reaching a climax that makes your heart pound.” La Estatuilla [translated from Spanish]


“A hypnotic, deceptively simple experimental, analog-inspired horror. Its scares are many; creeping sensations that border on terrifying without ever needing to jump the gun or be too on the nose. Its smart edits and minimalist, liminal imagery have a way of embedding themselves into your consciousness unlike most films of the genre.” Grade: A, Film Snob Reviews

“The questions that arise, spontaneously, during the unnerving, very slow, tense, distressing envelope of the story, are destined to remain unanswered. But this seemingly confused, static, omnibus of nonsense, however, it achieves the result of deeply influencing, making the viewing experience truly unique.” 3 out of 5, Film TV [translated from Italian]

“By dint of insisting on filming darkness, our mind expects to see a ghost appear at any moment and this is how Skinamarinkplays with our nerves. The arid aspect of experimentation, if we accept it, then becomes in a way the engine of the atypical ghost film, which with its unpredictable character manages to give us a handful of downright terrifying scenes…” Horreur Quebec

“Ball has made a DIY nightmare look effortless, thanks in part to his brilliant cinematographer Jamie McRae. Everything here looks misshaped in the dark, twisted and demented, making the house a mystical place, eventually pushing beyond the reasonability of time and space. At the end of this mind-bending experience, you’ll fear the dark again…” Horror Obsessive

“The movie so expertly encapsulates the feelings of loneliness, but not just any kind of loneliness: the aloneness only a child can experience when separated from their parents. At 100 minutes, the slow crawling pace through the darkness might prove too long for some viewers, but others will find themselves completely gripped by the experience as the nightmares will pervade even after the last blood-chilling scene.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“There has never been a horror film quite like Skinamarink before, and it should be considered required viewing for all fright-fare cinephiles. Director Kyle Edward Ball has crafted a mesmerizing work set in the dark of a nighttime home that finds two young siblings confronted by a chilling evil, with visual and aural approaches that make the proceedings all the more unsettling.” 5 out of 5, The Scariest Things

“With no film score (apart from some really creepy cartoons) and a run-time of 100 minutes, Skinamarink could be considered a challenging watch. But Skinamarink’s effectiveness isn’t jump scares, it’s environmental horror that adds or takes away from the setting. The movie asks a lot of its viewers, and the daring pace that Ball sets will have viewers either rushing to keep up or risk being left behind.” 4.5 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

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