Review of Under The Skin

I will start off by saying that I really REALLY wanted to love this film, but it lost me about thirty minutes into it and I struggled to get through it! I love Miz Scarlett Johansson, but this was not her finest film, and as for the accent? Was that an attempt at a brit accent? I’m not even sure!

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The film begins with a light above, almost to give us a feel of abduction occurring…well beam me up Scotty, I’m intrigued momentarily, but that soon wears off.

We soon find Scarlett stealing clothes from a corpse; it all seems very Terminator, yet artsy. The alien or other must always blend in, so it’s no wonder that her first visit is to a mall, she finds more clothes and lipstick. It’s time to complete the disguise.

Driving around in a van, ScarJo seems to be picking up males by asking them for directions and then offering them a ride. She lures them back to her place to be consumed by some black goopy stuff. There is no immediate explanation for what the goop is.

Next ScarJo randomly finds a surfer from Czech Republic? Why am I still watching? LOL…She watches him save a swimmer, but the swimmer goes back into the water, I’ll assume this was a suicide attempt. She goes to check on the exhausted hero and hits him with a rock. Dragging his unconscious body away while a child screams watching her as she does this (Who’s baby is it? The aliens don’t seem to like babies since they just ignore it and leave it). At this point I’m just confused, not entertained.

She then goes looking for more prey, but finds what looks to be a bachelorette party and gets dragged into a nightclub. Although the nightclub seems to make her very uncomfortable, it sure is an easy place to pick up someone and so she does. The next victim joins the others in the dark goop, but this time we are given a glimpse of what happens under the black goop. It looks like the men are in water, and they are slowly disintegrating until all that’s left is their skin. All that for a costume? Really aliens? I’m sure you have the technology to make something synthetic? Kudos for the creepy skin suit floating around in the water though, it’s messed up, but probably the coolest visual in the entire film.

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She finally meets a man with a disfigurement, and seems to feel sorry for him. Rather than leave him to the black goop, she sets him free. Unfortunately her good deed forces her to go into hiding and an alien colleague captures the innocent man anyway.

During her escape she meets a man who oddly wants to help her. She really begins to explore her humanity while staying with him. Unsure if it’s curiosity or love that pushes her towards him, she kisses him and is intimate with him but this intimacy reveals something about her true form, and once again, she’s on the run.

Finding herself alone in the woods, a man assaults her only to find that her skin is quite delicate. He tears it from her alien frame and bolts in terror. There’s nothing left to do but to peel it away after that. She seems sad to leave that identity behind. The nearly human moment is interrupted when her attacker returns and lights her on fire, ending the film with alien ash drifting into the air.

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There’s not much talking in the film, not much terror, not much of anything really. If the goal was to portray an alien wandering earth without a clue of what to do next, they nailed it.

I give this film 1 out of 5 Zombies

1

Some of the visuals were cool, but it wasn’t enough to save the film, and although I love an artsy film, I’m not sure the visuals were strong enough to support a near silent film.

Hopefully next week we’ll find a winner! I’m going to make it my last PZ Poll until the new year, so stay tuned for some holiday horror selections on Monday!

Happy Weekend!

zom