Under the Skin movie poster
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Under the Skin
Under the Skin movie poster

Under the Skin Movie Review

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If you've seen Species, you haven't seen Under the Skin. About an attractive alien seductress who lures unsuspecting men back to her lair, the movie bears some similarities to the 1995 thriller, but the similarities are only skin deep. Under the Skin is one of the weirder movies you'll see all year.

OK, it is the weirdest movie you'll see all year, assuming you ever see it at all.

From Jonathan Glazer, the director of Sexy Beast and Birth, Under the Skin is an odd, low-key movie that refuses to adhere to convention. Often confusing and never what you expect it to be, the movie is oddly alluring and at times downright captivating.

Oh, and Scarlett Johansson gets naked. There, I said it. Let's move on.

As good as it is, Under the Skin isn't for most people. If you're expecting something specific when Johansson's character (who, like everyone else in the movie, does not have a name) takes men back to her home, think again - or don't, because you won't guess what actually occurs. What happens is weird, confusing and never fully explained. Things don't get much better when she meets a guy suffering from neurofibromatosis, or when she is taken in by some random stranger later in the film.

Under the Skin features several memorable sequences, at least on a technical level:

  • The aforementioned seduction scenes are creative, unique and hard to describe; they simply have to be seen.
  • The beach scene is powerful in the way that it conveys so much about Johansson's emotionless character while showing something so terrible and sad.
  • The scene between Johansson and her disfigured victim is incredibly well done.
  • A certain sex scene ends on a hilarious note.

The movie also benefits from the incredibly unique and intoxicating music by Mica Levi.

Despite its positives, Under the Skin does lose a bit of its edge in the third act. While Glazer purposefully keeps things confusing to keep things interesting, the movie ends leaving you wanting to know just a little more than is ever revealed - and no, there won't be a sequel.

Few people will see Under the Skin and even fewer will like it, but that shouldn't detract from the movie's qualities; it is one of the most unique and mesmerizing sci-fi films in recent memory.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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