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Under The Skin

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Mark Suszko
Under The Skin
on Sep 8, 2014 at 2:09:22 pm

I finally got to Redbox this one. Somewhat experimental, it had some superficial resemblances to the shooting style of Stanley Kubrick, but there is almost no story here: It is essentially a super-simplified Sexy-Aliens-in-human-skinsuits-lure-human-prey to their doom plot. Scar-jo is the literal femme fatale, and the major tension in the film, aside from waiting to see her get actually naked on screen, is in watching her alien character slowly begin to "go native" as the longer she pretends to be human, the less it becomes pretending. But you never get a sense that this is really happening on a truly deep level.

The sound design and score for this movie was also on the experimental side, with occasional riffs that recalled the electronic tonalities in "Forbidden Planet". But I hated the sound here: the creepy undertone never lets up thru the whole thing, and it makes you feel like you're getting tinnitus as you watch.

As to the nudity, it is by turns clinical and utterly non-erotic, and secondary to the plot, and momentarily, lyrical, in a scene where the alien is starting to reflect more personally on what she's doing. and regarding her appearance in light of a re-evaluation of self. There are none of the kind of sex scenes typical in b-movies that have an alien seductress theme.

The bulk of the movie is Scarlett cruising around in a van, talking to random men on the street, trying to find her prey and talk then into going for a ride, and this was supposedly shot with real people and hidden cameras for at least part of the movie. Why such scenes never happen in MY neighborhood, I just can't fathom.

This one's going to stay rather obscure, I think, after the temporary excitement over the nudity passes. It isn't anywhere close to something like "The Man Who Fell To Earth".

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