REVIEW: UNDER THE SKIN
OVERVIEW: Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien seductress in the “hypnotically beautiful” (The Atlantic) thriller Under the Skin, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD July 15 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The film, which was released theatrically by A24, comes from visionary director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). It is a “mind-melting masterpiece” (Village Voice) of existential science fiction that journeys to the heart of what it means to be human, extraterrestrial, or maybe something in between. Filled with Mica Levi’s mesmerizing score and stunning visual sequences, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion award at the 2013 Venice Film Festival and four awards at the 2013 British Independent Film Awards, including Best Actress (Scarlett Johansson) and Best Director (Jonathan Glazer). The “beguiling and beautiful nightmare“ (Indiewire) Under the Skin, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD, including a “making of”
SYNOPSIS: A voluptuous woman of unknown origin (Johansson) combs the highways in search of isolated or forsaken men, luring a succession of lost souls into an otherworldly lair. They are seduced, stripped of their humanity, and never heard from again. Based on the novel by Michel Faber, Under the Skin examines human experience from the perspective of an unforgettable heroine who grows too comfortable in her borrowed skin, until she is abducted into humanity with devastating results.
FILM REVIEW: The best way to describe this movie in one word would have to be eerie. Just about every aspect of the film is eerie. The overcast, rainy, cold, gloomy filming locations in Scotland, the lack of overall color in the film (it almost seems like everything is in shades of black and white), the incredibly eerie soundtrack/sound effects that contribute heavily to the mood of the moment throughout the film, and most especially Scarlett Johansson’s performance which she more than nailed. She was perfect for the role with her blank stares, emotionless expressions, and just plain old cold demeanor . . . she actually seemed like an alien. She made the movie for sure, and I don’t think anyone else could have pulled it off as well as her. I mean it’s not just the looking and acting like an alien, but also being attractive enough to lure and seduce her prey. Well that’s just too easy for
Scarlett. I have dubbed her the modern day Marilyn Monroe as far as seductress, sex symbol status goes but with a wider acting range. So again, she was perfect for the role. And actually, she looks kind of everyday, simple class, which added to the overall effect and credibility of her character. So even looking like that, she still looked hot and irresistible. Oh yeah, and by the way, we get to see a lot more of her than we ever have I think. I’ll just leave that right there.
The next best word to describe this artsy film is bizarre. It is a bizarre work of art. If there were an art museum dedicated to motion pictures, this film could have a room all to itself. Like at a MOMA for movies. The visuals in this film are mesmerizing. So it goes without saying that the cinematography is another key aspect to the quality of this movie. There are some special effects that do not go above and beyond what is needed for the film, which is a good thing in this case. It still does have an indy feel to it. At moments throughout, the movie seems to be a little slow but all the while it maintains a chilling sensation. At other moments, it’s even a bit creepy. After all, it’s based on the hunt, and Scarlett is a good hunter. As for the storyline, well, it’s really not that complicated actually. The focus is not so much on the story itself, however, but more so on what the story teaches. Heck, even the dialogue is close to non-existent, and it actually doesn’t hurt it. Director Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Sexy Beast) is staying true to his style with this one. This is one of those movies that isn’t for everyone, but it still is a pretty good movie, with plenty of out-of-the-box imagination. Be sure you understand what you’re getting into before choosing it.
By Cine Marcos
The film is
presented in widescreen in a 1.85:1 aspect ration preserving its
theatrical format. The picture is just flawless. Not only the
picture looks great in this release, also the sound it is good,
a 5.1 Dolby Digital in English that provides a good complement
to the picture. It also includes English
and Spanish subtitles.
Widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles - English Spanish
“Making of Under the Skin” featurette