Under the Skin
Under the Skin
2014. Directed by Jonathan Glazer.
One of the scariest and thought provoking films ever made, Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin is a one of kind film experience.
The premise: An alien adopts a human female guise (portrayed by Scarlett Johansson) and begins hunting men in Scotland by enticing them with sexual promises. Once they enter the trap, they're literally consumed for unknown purposes. As the alien continues to walk among the humans, it begins to identify with the prey.
It sounds simple, almost cliche', but this film is anything but. Glazer uses a stunning female lead to focus on our inherent hunger for companionship, whether in the throws of ecstasy or in the gentle embrace of a stranger. It's so terrifying because you are given the alien's point of view, methodical, merciless, and ultimately uninterested in our plights.
Glazer creates a spiderweb of emotional mystery with every single frame. Daniel Landin's cinematography is so real, so intimate, that you're hugging your knees during every sequence, desperately hoping to escape the fate that awaits you upon the film's conclusion.
Micachu's score is perhaps the film's largest asset. It's so chilling you'll find it's melodies creeping around your mind long after you're done. Aside from it's unsettling notes in the void scenes, there is a particularly malignant scene involving a beach and an infant that is without a doubt one of the most harrowing sequences I've ever experienced.
There's essentially no wrong way to interpret this film. Is it about how we as humans connect to one another or is a meditation on sex? Is it horror or science fiction, or more importantly a love story? It is entirely up the viewer to decide and that is what makes this a film like no other.
I could go on an on, but I don't want to try and ruin the mystique. Under the Skin was the best film of 2014 and one of my all time favorites. Available now on Amazon Prime, if you have the opportunity, definitely check it out.