UNDER THE SKIN (2013) – Review

Scarlett Johansson ("Laura") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's UNDER THE SKIN.

An alien entity inhabits the earthly form of a seductive young woman. Let’s see where it goes.

English filmmaker Johnathan Glazer‘s  UNDER THE SKIN (2013) is a strange, durably erotic, book-to-screen sci-fi fable from author Michael Faber. There is a fascination about watching a movie where the protagonist can emerge out of the darkness and be tactically surreptitious in their actions. Scarlett Johansson delivers an unnerving performance that is both mesmerizing and complicated. It provides an environment for dubious uncertainties, and are where this film gets its visual appeal.  

As an alien entity that inhabits the human form of a seductive young woman, Johansson gets behind the wheel of a white van, surveying the streets and alleyways for men. She lures them with a smile and some small talk. If she’s successful, she continues the lustful conversation up until she and the man of the evening arrive at home on an isolated road. Upon entering, she gingerly disrobes, looks over her shoulder to encourage her follower to do the same. The quest ends when her male companion is naked and submerged in a vicious liquid. With her task complete, she gathers her discarded clothing and resumes the hunt.

Glazer’s direction allows viewers to become comfortable with a character that is altogether cunning and dangerous. The reveal is slow and indistinct only evolves the mystery into the creature’s intended purpose: sustenance. Only that the meaty bits of the men who become trapped is dissolved, leaving only a husk, the rest is nutrients for who or what isn’t discernible. The subtlety of sound also helps to convey the relentlessness and insensitivity in pursuit of these men. Two empathetic moments: she enters into a brief relationship with a man who had shown her kindness, and allowing one of her victims the opportunity to escape the vicious pit.

Though wholly enveloped as a science-fiction horror, Under The Skin nearly avoids narrowing the events too specifically in this genre perspective. It is, at its core, a film about desire, isolation, and doubt–what it means to be kind, considerate and understandably human. The dominant underlying theme of sexuality is used to the absolute advantage of the alien stalker-huntress, who lures men by their erections, to their doom.

Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2014 of Studio Canal. All rights reserved.

UNDER THE SKIN
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good

  • UNDER THE SKIN
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  • Last modified: 11/13/2016

Review Summary:

An alien entity inhabits the earthly form of a seductive young woman. Let's see where it goes.

Sandy Hoffman
My name is Sandy +AIDY Hoffman. I am the creative writer and film reviewer of the AIDY Reviews website.
Sandy Hoffman

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I want to write for games, movies and television. Sandy Hoffman. Writer. Gamer. Awesome. In that order. Avid supporter of #indiefilm and #indieartist #booyah
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Sandy Hoffman
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