Home > Movie and Anime Reviews > Movie Review: Under the Skin (2013)

Movie Review: Under the Skin (2013)

Movie Review: Under the Skin (2013)

Under the Skin movie poster

Once you get under, what do you do with it?

The alien serial killer you root against and then for and then against and then…


Under the Skin is a tough one. How do you review it? Most reviewers are either confirming the big reveal ending or basically telling you everything that happens in the movie. Maybe we should stick to what you should be looking for going in, what you actually get and what you feel coming out.


Writers Walter Campbell and novelist Michel Faber (whose book Under the Skin is based on) give us an abstract piece that leaves us groping for meaning and understanding. We become foreigners (aliens?) watching events play out and hope that at some point we figure out the Why. Through repeated scenes we get the motif of a femme fatale luring men to their doom. Every time we see this scenario happen, we are given more details to work from and more pieces to assemble the puzzle’s point. Director Jonathan Glazer shows us some incredible moments where humanity is in mortal peril. There are tight special effects and many scenes without special effects that will make you wonder how he filmed them. The atmosphere locks into place, supported by an eerie soundtrack and a stoic performance from Johansson. She plays it fake and real and there’s claims that cameras were hidden throughout the movie and all her pick-up scenes were non-actors actually being seduced by Scarlett.


Going in? Strange movie, you can’t be too sure what to expect. Inside; an interesting bit of movie-art. And fortunately there is a proper ending that allows us to rethink what we’ve just scene and put all of the puzzle parts in place. Under the Skin is a solid entry and departure. I believe the more cerebral sci-fi fans among us should enjoy it.


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