Under the Skin: Review

Under The Skin is a creepy art-house horror-sci-fi film that's mysteriously compelling and thoroughly indecipherable. Scarlet Johansson plays a nameless woman who lures men into a van, takes them back to her house, and feasts on them in the most unconventional, cinematic way. The imagery is black, dense and nightmare-inducing, and soon we realize this woman is no woman at all. The film starts in a very disorienting manner aided by loud, dissonant music full of shrieking violins and surreal images, then steadily moves towards more realism as it progresses. There's very little dialogue and it falls into a repetitive, numbing cycle that illustrates the woman's trek through the stars. Each new victim takes its toll as she begins to learn about what makes us human: compassion (or lack there of), loneliness, and physical differences. The swirls of vivid imagery replay over and over in your mind as you desperately sift through the details trying to force hidden meanings. There are no easy explanations. It's a subtle, haunting journey that will clog your brainstem, much like 2001: A Space Odyssey did, and to best enjoy it, you must submit to the languid pace and hypnotizing rhythms. For some audiences, this will be one of the best films of the year.