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Comments 1 - 15 of 29

mightysparks's avatar


devilsadvocado; a bit hypocritical to call out maxdbn for 'looking down on others for not enjoying the same films as he does' and then go on to look down on him because of some of his favourite films.
7 years 2 months ago
Tgi's avatar


I don't necessarily hate the film, I just don't like it that much. For viewers praising the visuals, which are stunning by the way, I might as well watch a Nat Geo documentary about Scotland's landscapes. The movie is quite creative as it shows how an alien might interpret our world through human eyes, but do we really have to go through that puzzling experience of watching for 2 hours without a plot? I personally think you can achieve everything in this film within a 15 mins short film, maybe less, including the long takes. It could be much better served with a plot of substence. Just my 2 cents.
7 years 1 month ago
burythehammer's avatar


Deeply immersive, thoughtful, and terrifying. Definitely not for everyone - there is little to no exposition, you're meant to figure out the plot by inference only.

The original book was mostly about vegetarianism, but this is far more about the nature of being a human (and how others would view us), and some subtle observations on misogyny and 'lad' culture.

Given the incredible visuals and great use of sound, this is probably best watched in a cinema!
6 years 12 months ago
sixteenmiles's avatar



It’s finally time to talk about Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. A science-fiction road trip through Scotland. Told from the perspective of an alien in the skin of a human woman. Laura is a predator, driving a white van around the streets of Scotland. She seduces men by showing only the vaguest interest in them. In return they follow her into a dark nightmare.

Science-fiction. But Under the Skin is a film about real people.

It all hinges first on the girl. Laura. Scarlett Johansson. A Hollywood face in disguise, dropped into the realms of Scottish civilisation. Filmed with hidden cameras. Interacting with real people. True reactions.

Even the opening sequence reflects the dual nature of the film. In the context of the story, we hear Laura practicing her dialogue. She makes vowel sounds and practices the way words form in her mouth. But this is actually a recording of Johansson practicing her dialect for the role. It’s a clever idea, reflecting the nature of the film as a form of method acting.

The first half of the film is sparse of exposition. We follow Laura on her road trip, in her interactions, ensnaring men. She lures them back to a derelict house. Inside is only a dark abyss; a haunting abstract plane. The men descend into this darkness. Willing to do so as they are so captivated by this siren. And something invisible in the darkness pulls the meat from under their skin. Leaving only a hollow shell behind.

The film indulges itself in letting this half of the film play out in slow pace. It is slow because we have to witness the length of time that Laura allows humanity to impact upon her. She is not human. This is never more clear than a particular beach scene. It is a gut-wrenching emotional play that she witnesses, and is completely indifferent to. But over time, the effects of humanity do seep in under the skin. There is no galvanising moment of realisation. It is a slow process.

Yet there is a galvanising moment that shifts the focus of the film. We find a narrative in the second half. As Laura finds a twinkling of humanity, the perspective turns. She experiences the world not from the perspective of a predator, but as the prey. She finds herself in an unfamiliar abyss (a deep forest). She experiences the dark, predatory nature of the human in the film’s climax.

Under the Skin is bold. It is clever. It is beautiful. It provokes thought. It pulls the viewer out of their comfort zone. Jonathan Glazer has made a film that realises his cinematic vision. A guerrilla documentary on the nature of people. The cinematography and soundtrack are haunting. And Scarlett Johansson is ethereal as Laura.

6 years 4 months ago
TalkingElvish's avatar


Fantastic. So audacious and such a refreshing blast of 'otherness' in the cinema. Hope it turns up on a list or two soon.
7 years 3 months ago
cm06mrs's avatar


Jesus Christ
7 years 6 months ago
mariannepaqn's avatar


This felt like a long, terrifying nightmare. I loved it.
6 years 10 months ago
Worzel's avatar


If you liked Eraserhead, this'll be a breeze.
If you don't like arty-farty, out of your comfort zone, don't look here.
6 years 11 months ago
Chikamaharry's avatar


Not my kind of movie. Which is OK I guess. Haven't watched too much art-house, and with the praise this one is getting, I thought I should give it a try. I really liked the soundtrack of this movie. It seems to get a lot of praise, justifiably. It is just so eerie, and sets up an incredible atmosphere, which keeps you right at the edge of the seat. You feel like something wrong is about to happen any moment. Also, it looks gorgeous. Every single frame has something interesting to it, and seems very 3D-like. ScarJo was great too.

But still, this is the kind of movie I just doesn't get. I cant make out what the narrative was all about, even when reading explanations. I don't find it very thought provoking, since I can't make any sense of the movie. I have no idea what was going on. It'll probably stick with me for a while, since it was so WTF, but still. So, I get why some people like it, but it was not my cup of tea.
6 years 8 months ago
lightlykilled's avatar


I wish I'd seen the movie before reading the book. because now I just waited all the awesomeness from the book to happen and then it didn't.
points for being visually pleasing.
7 years ago
Torgo's avatar


Certainly not what most people might have expected a year ago ..
7 years 3 months ago
UnEnfantPerdu's avatar


Are movies meant to be entertaining? If so I'd want to rethink my evaluation of Bresson ,Dreyer and Mizoguchi movies.
7 years ago
Carota's avatar


Well, that was something.
4 years 8 months ago
Siskoid's avatar


Under the Skin, about an alien who comes to Earth to steal men's skins (or something) is an interesting art house film, but I'm not sure I'd call it an "entertainment" exactly. It's the kind of thing you want to call a tone poem, with abstract visuals and sounds to best present the alien's perspective. Scarlett Johansson plays it well, and must, per force discover her own humanity from wearing a human skin, but much of the action is repetitive, and involves non-actors who mumble in a thick Scottish accent. A lot of longueurs interrupted by nudity. And yet, there's something there, if you're in the mood for it.
6 years 3 months ago
NourNasreldin's avatar


most viewers of the film agree that the film breaks away from some of the most common factors seen in Sci-fi films. When the words “Sci-fi” or “Science Fiction” are mentioned, people almost automatically think of blockbusters such as Star Wars the trilogy (1977) or Star Trek the famous TV series (1968). Notice the words “Stars” as the shared elements between the two titles. This is due to the fact that for such a long time, science fiction films have been associated with galaxies, stars, extra celestial beings, life on different planets…etc. However, Under the Skin presents itself as an astoundingly unconventional sci-fi film with no Space fights or laser beams whatsoever.

That of course, doesn’t in anyway mean that Under the Skin is free of the mesmerizing visuals we find in sci-fi films. In fact, the film is full of them but it does so in the most avant-garde way possible, establishing itself as a visionary science fiction film rather than a movie about colorful creatures fighting each other for entertainment reasons. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this specific kind of pleasurable and humorous films isn’t needed. But every now and again, it is refreshing to find a film rising from a certain genre, altering the peoples’ view of it.

Until this very day, some people still believe that a true, genuine sci-fi flick has to have certain elements and iconographies in order to be listed under the sci-fi genre. However, I believe that is a common mistake that societies tend to make when exposed to a certain constant, unchanging thing or nature for so long that they forget that it can be altered or reformed.

It is quite understandable that during the 80s and 90s period, Sci-Fi films were directly associated with individuals labeled as “Geeks” or “Nerds”. However, now, serving a total disclaimer to the above claim; sci-fi films have managed to become part of the mainstream theme of entertainment. Now comes Under the Skin, placing the sci-fi genre among Art house cinema as a step to alter and develop the specific genre. This only serves to prove that no genre is limited to its most popular iconographies and no filmmaker should stop trying to develop, revise and experiment with any of the well-known genres. The biggest, most significant proof of constant generic change is Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin.
6 years 7 months ago

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