April 14th, 2014 / 2:30 pm
Film & Snippets

under the skin 1

……………….Am I right in thinking that Under The Skin is a kind of beautiful, thought-provoking movie that’s worth seeing, hypnotic, etc, etc…?? But just not quite right??…(I mean that can be a good thing)…But maybe it could have benefited from more terrifying “baby alone on the beach” kind of stuff?? I dunno. Watcha think ??…………..

under the skin 2


  1. bartleby_taco

      just saw this today / agree

      didn’t really come together for me, though there were some great/interesting moments ya

  2. deadgod

      I saw Under the Skin just last week and had forgotten this invitation.

      The only duff moment for me was the overly specific “swimming-pool” scene (as it’s referred to in the credits, to my memory). Or maybe there was just enough specificity (in the direction of ‘digestive vat’) to tantalize? Also, the dreamy filler slowed me down irritatingly, but I put that down to my own tv-disrepaired attention span.

      The thing about the horror elements is that the movie isn’t about – or just about – our (human) horror. It’s about her horror: the conflict she feels between her growing curiosity and even empathy and the ruthlessness of the, eh, harvest. I wouldn’t have minded, in the manner of irritably scratching after understanding, a little of communication between them, but then, that would’ve violated the opacity between them and us that I wonder if the “swimming-pool” scenes didn’t pierce illegitimately.

      I was really impressed by the filmmakers keeping their nerve in not explaining and in not yielding to the temptation to ramp up “terrifying stuff”.

  3. Donora Ann Hillard

      I saw it this past weekend and agree re: the off-ness; however, I think that it worked, and I truly enjoyed (apologies if that’s the wrong word, but there it is) the harvesting scene(s). I’m quite a geek when it comes to “terrifying” material — I’ve studied/lived (ha) the New French Extremity, etc. — and I can honestly say that I witnessed some tropes/techniques in UNDER THE SKIN that I hadn’t before.

  4. Rauan Klassnik

      o, I don’t think they should have gone crazy on too much terrifying stuff… but I think the movie could have made an more effective shape with another couple of spikes to rival the baby on the beach.
      I enjoyed it very much. just think it could have been a bit better.

  5. Rauan Klassnik

      yes, I agree, it worked and I really enjoyed. but I left with an itchy feeling that it could have been better. I dunno. like I said, maybe another spike or two.

  6. A D Jameson

      I thought it was pretty great myself, and I was haunted for days afterward by specific images / moments / sounds. Also, it’s refreshing to see a movie where there’s so little (verbal) explanation as to what’s going on (and is at the same time very easy to follow). There were a few walkouts in the theater when I saw it (including some in the first few minutes!), but for the most part, the audience was transfixed by it (even though it was obvious at the end that many had disliked it).

      I didn’t get the sense anything was missing wrong, honestly. It’s a pretty simple story, all told (and told very effectively). I think its chief strength lies in how creepy it is, and how everyone involved managed to make such a familiar tale feel so unusual.

      The only point my friends and I were confused by was whether SJ’s
      character deliberately freed that one victim or not. Some of us thought she
      did so, while others thought he’d been rejected from the system. I
      imagine the point’s clear in the film, and it doesn’t really matter all
      that much, but I’d be curious to go back and look more closely at that
      moment. I’m also curious as to how repeat viewings would feel. I found myself pretty unnerved the first time through—but I’m easily unnerved by scary films.

  7. Rauan Klassnik

      i think she freed him ….and i agree with you mostly, man, as i too was quite transfixed.. and yet– :)

  8. A D Jameson

      It certainly makes more sense if she frees him.

      How did you feel about Glazer’s other films? It’s been a long time since I saw Sexy Beast and Birth (since they came out, I guess), but I remember really admiring/liking both.

  9. Rauan Klassnik

      this was my first Glazer film… but now i’m wanting to check the others out ….

  10. deadgod

      They leave at almost the same time (she’s (re-??)clothed), then he walks home (I think), and the alien catches him sneaking home (guy’s address in wallet left at “swimming pool”?), which avoidance the movie shows the guy doing normally. When she touches him in the van, hadn’t she already begun successfully to seduce him? It seemed to me that there was some contact there that we’d call ’emotional’ – that she–I should say, ‘she’–was increasingly curious about the inner lives of her prey. With his violent recapture by her collaborator, I figured that she’d let the guy go. It didn’t occur to me ’til now, the possibility that even the aliens can’t process neurofibromatosis (and she’d failed to kill him as a witness out of incomprehension?). You might see the movie a second (or nth) time and decide it’s ambiguous on this point.

      Sexy Beast was remarkably tight; with that kind of energy and gangster chaos, it could easily have been sloppily sensational, and it isn’t. Especially when the real boss lets Winstone go with, what, £1?, the idea of ‘beastliness’ is vividly made present.

  11. Jeremy Hopkins

      I’d heard of this book (but never read it) before I’d heard of this movie (never seen it), though I now know that the same guy did ‘Sexy Beast’ (which was so-so) and the ‘Into My Arms’ video for Nick Cave (which was unusual, noteworthy to some, but not enjoyable for me) which is included on one of those Director’s Series music video collections which tend to be at least pretty good.

  12. A D Jameson
  13. Jeremy Hopkins

      KP video creeped me out first time I saw it. I do sort of miss the music video heyday. They’re still a semi-big deal I guess, Youtube etc, but I think they’ve generally diminished in artistry, most being sexy-dance or performance vids. Maybe I’m just watching the wrong ones, though.

  14. A D Jameson

      Looking back now, I find MTV pretty remarkable. In the 1980s, it was a venue for airing weird short films (which were of course meant to sell albums and singles, but they were still often weird short films). Then, in the 1990s, it largely ditched the songs in order to just show weird short films (often experimental animation and things like Sifl & Olly). Even The Real World was, at the time, arguably “experimental television.”

      I suppose the 2000s onward of MTV are the price we must pay for having the first 20-odd years? (Though to be fair I stopped watching MTV in the late 1990s, and maybe it still does interesting stuff?) … Anyway, my point is, MTV was a weird and interesting channel for (at least) its first twenty years. Though maybe I’m just forgetting all the garbage…

  15. A D Jameson
  16. Rauan Klassnik

      I’d watch it again for sure, also!