Review of the Film Under the Skin
Under the skin is a science fiction film that was released in 2013. The movie stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien life form who drives around Scotland, disguising herself as a woman, and seduces men. She then captures and kills them.
The film is creepy from beginning to end and features a few thought-provoking themes. It also has a great soundtrack.
After the critical and commercial success of his first film Sexy Beast, Glazer took nearly a decade to complete Under the Skin. The result is a surrealist body horror story about an alien female who roams the streets of Glasgow preying – obliquely but chillingly – on lonely men.
The film’s use of language is purposefully minimalist, eventually becoming silence as the viewer becomes increasingly engrossed in the inscrutable female figure. The thick, often unintelligible Scottish accent compounded by Glazer’s decision not to provide subtitles further decontextualizes the viewers’ understanding and further mirrors the alien’s opacity.
The film’s enigmatic seduction/dissolution scenes resemble a wordless dance of death and consumption. As the female alien lures her male victims, their bodies melt away into a black, slimy substance. This invoking of osmosis and incorporation reflects the vexed relationship between human and alien identities as well as the close link between sexual desire and death, themes that Michael Faber’s novel explores.
Scarlett Johansson is the star of the film and delivers a stunning performance. She does not speak throughout the film and communicates her emotions through her body language and demeanor. Her lack of dialogue makes her character even more unsettling and eerie. Her performance is one of the best of her career.
Under the Skin is a highly original science fiction film that is both disturbing and thought-provoking. Its limited dialogue and eerie music make it a bone-chilling experience that is sure to haunt you for a long time.
The film explores several themes, including rape culture, xenophobia, and toxic masculinity. It also questions the role of women in society and illustrates the ugliness that is part of human nature. During the final scene, Johansson’s alien character is assaulted by a logger, who tears off her outer shell. When he peels her back, she reveals her true alien body, which is a dark liquid void.
Few films leave the viewer as shaken as Under the Skin. While it can be reduced to a simple narrative of an alien in disguise, the film has so much more to offer. The Kubrickian scenes, the vast landscapes with static camera shots and physics-defying lighting schemes, the uncomfortable silences at the right moments, the gripping story that succeeds without dialogue or telltale cues – these are all part of what makes this movie so great.
The film centers around a predatory alien in the form of Scarlett Johansson who hunts lonely men. She lures them with her beauty and catches them in a black acid pool. They are then shipped back to her home planet. Initially, her hunt is only sexual in nature, but she eventually starts to develop emotional attachments to the men she encounters. She is aware of her physical attractiveness as a desirable object and she tries to avoid being defined by it.
Despite its F Cinemascore, Under the Skin is an intelligent film that can be thought-provoking and terrifying at times. It is a challenging piece of arthouse cinema that may require several viewings in order to decipher. It’s not easy to watch, but it will force the viewer to examine their own beliefs about violence and moral right-from-wrong. It is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of being too close to other people. Ultimately, it is an absorbing piece of science fiction and alien-themed horror that’s well worth watching.