Under The Skin (2014)

27 Apr

Under The Skin is the new thriller/sci-fi/horror from Jonathan Glazer, a director known mostly for his work in music videos though he did direct the feature films Sexy Beast and Birth. Voluptuous leading lady Scarlett Johanson stars in this trippy, abstract, and provocative story about a space creature who roams the Scottish countryside preying upon innocent male victims.

The film starts out with a very impressive montage of bizarre imagery set to a screeching musical piece as Scarlett’s character soon makes her entrance unto the earth, and into the lives of those unfortunate enough to cross her path.  The rest of the movie is a slow-burning and often dark examination into the nature of love, loneliness, sexuality and the value of connectedness.  While some sequences Glazer directs with a pin-point meticulousness, others seem entirely spontaneous and impulsive resulting in a film rich with a variety of atmospheric tones.  Boasting a wonderful score from Mica Levi, and featuring some of the best visuals of the year, Under The Skin makes for a sublime and rewarding cinematic experience.

My biggest issue with the film is that it puts too much style over substance, and unfortunately borders on the fine line between being artful and being pretentious. A forty-second shot of a mountain – though gorgeously shot – is still just a forty-second shot of a mountain, and adds little to the film’s rhythm or narrative. If you are looking for an artsy and experimental take on the genre, Under The Skin is bound to satisfy, while those looking for something a bit less cryptic are best left to check out Scarlett in Captain America 2. I was completely spellbound.

Rating: 9/10 

Similar to: Enemy (2014), The Master (2012), Upstream Color (2013) 

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4 Responses to “Under The Skin (2014)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Enemy (2014) | A Journey Through Cinema - June 5, 2014

    […] Similar to: Mulholland Drive, Cosmopolis, Under The Skin […]

  2. The best of 2014 (so far) | A Journey Through Cinema - June 23, 2014

    […] 2 – Under The Skin  […]

  3. H. (Sundance 2015) | A Journey Through Cinema - February 5, 2015

    […] Enemy (2014), Under The Skin (2014), Upstream Color […]

  4. Arrival (2016) | A Journey Through Cinema - November 16, 2016

    […] (a stylistic choice that hasn’t been seen in the genre since maybe Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin?) with an emphasis on the physiological versus physical conflict within the characters. A […]

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