Wednesday, September 11, 2013

TIFF 2013: Under The Skin (Weird)

Under The Skin was billed as a sci-if thriller, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who hunts down human prey. I normally love that kind of stuff, but I found it pretty weird, and hard to understand. The film is presented from the alien's point of view, so the camera work and sound is often strange and disorienting. I found the story difficult to follow, with scenes changing, character interactions unexplained (is the motorcycle guy another alien???), and on the whole the film left me wanting more. Maybe it's because I don't do subtlety well. 

There is little dialogue, and in the Q & A after the film, the director talked about filming with hidden cameras, and said some of the characters in the film were not actors (unclear if he was serious). There is a clear theme of the alien discovering her own "humanity" that did come across. The film has been compared by some critics (and not favorably) to The Man Who Fell To Earth. I agree: not favorably. In the end I was left confused and disappointed.

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