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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: Under the Skin

Under the Skin (2013):

Synopsis – An outsider pursues men for unknown purposes. Through her eyes we see humanity in a new light. What was once common becomes strange and alien.

Sarah and I went to see this at the local theater downtown. We had been eagerly waiting for it to come to anywhere nearby, as the trailer for the movie is mysterious and that’s what we like! 3 people walked out of the screening we were at (this is according to Sarah, I didn’t witness it), that’s always a good sign right? Shocking amounts of nudity (from both sexes) and beautiful, documentary style camera work wasn’t enough to keep them in their seats! As for Sarah and I, we loved it. Our minds were blown; not in a collective fashion, don’t be creepy. I feel like the world has been blessed the last couple of months, having month after month with only a few lapses between the releases of another set of must see movies. This piece of science-fiction works so well as a frightening thriller and a social commentary I can hardly believe that it is real. I want to go see it again right now.

What I Liked:
-I don’t know what you call this slow and measured camera work style, but I am a fan of it. I don’t need quick edits for continuity, I rather enjoy seeing a shot being held, forcing the viewer to take in everything that can be taken in. It emphasized the almost robotic nature of the protagonist.
-Scarlett Johansson made this movie. Not literally, I mean that she was the perfect choice for her role. She holds herself in a way that is reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator, except every once in a while she must pretend to be a normal person, showing the smallest facsimile of emotion. When in the second half of the movie puts her in even more of a position of being introduced with the unfamiliar, you cannot help but be on her side as you would be for a child discovering feelings and “tastes”. Something needs to be said about her and the films representation of sexuality and power also, but I once again find myself without the intelligence to handle those subjects. While Johansson in the film is presented as a seductress, there is nothing sexy in her actions. It is a trick and one that works so well that you stop feeling sorry for her victims almost immediately.  Johansson does such an amazing job in this film, I cannot say enough.
-Whenever this movie dipped into the unhuman sections of the film, it did an amazing job of utterly perplexing me. What I saw and heard happening during these points made a strange sort of sense, but it was still completely alien to me. Alien, terrifying and fascinating. Some of it was very 2001, which of course is right up my alley.

What I Didn’t Like, What I Hated:
-I am head over heels for this movie. I am sure that if I wanted to I could complain about parts of it, but I won’t because it was too good to merit that kind of deconstruction.


A warning to people who read this and are now thinking “yeah, I’ma gonna see dat one!” This movie is not for everyone. In fact, I would be surprised if outside of super movie nerds many people like the movie. If you are going to see it for the nudity, you are going to be very bored and in the end very disappointed. If you want to see a slow paced, sci-fi mystery thriller, like you’ve never seen before? Then go check it out. Try to see it on the big screen, because it will probably work best there.

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