The genre of science-fiction has always been a contentious at times, but it is also one that can push the boundaries and create something that is a challenging and distinctly unique piece of art. "Under The Skin" is not the kind of movie that will be for everyone, but for those open to the right kind of the experience it is a film that can be an absolute game changer.
"Under The Skin" takes us on Scotland's lonely back roads, where an alien seductress, masquerading as a beautiful woman (Scarlett Johansson) stalks unwitting men. Her identity and her motives unclear, she is simply, and quite literally, a sexual threat. She prowls night streets and deserted locales, seeking male victims until her focus changes and she's as lost and helpless as her victims not knowing where to turn.
Not an easy film to sum up, "Under The Skin" challenges so many perceptions, not only about the nature of relationships between men and women but of reality and even perception itself as everyone involved decides to push the boundaries and make some truly unique and different.
Director Jonathan Glazer and cinematographer Daniel Landin craft a stunningly beautiful yet equal murky world as she stalks her pray of eager, lonely and desperate men. It is hardly a traditional narrative this is a film of stark visuals that draw us in at every turn with its sharp use of darkness and light as obsession takes us into the void that we cannot help but wade into. It keeps us as an audience on edge if only because it's a film that challenges us to make our own interpretations rather then hit us over the head with whatever message it pleases. It's equal parts relatable and bold as this film could have easily crumbled under the weight of its ideas if not for a solid lead performance.
Simply one of the more naturally stunning lead actresses working today, Scarlett Johansson is a natural choice to play the man eating alien Laura. Her inherent sexuality is always maximized, but it is never done cheaply as the issues between men and women are highlighted in a variety of ways and Johansson is equal parts ravishing, fragile and flat out terrifying all at the same time. It's a performance that is so good, it's a little scary as this sexual animal tries to survive in a world she barely understands.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are intense and while it looks like there was supposed to be a bunch of behind the scenes featurettes on the making of the film, they never made it on to my copy.
"Under The Skin" is the kind of cinematic experience that will offer up layers upon layers for audiences to dissect for years to come and now in the comfort of your own home it is one that feels that much more intense then the shared theatrical experience, being alone with this creature is more desirable and more terrifying then I ever expected
5 out of 5 stars.
"Under The Skin" is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, Digital Download and On Demand from all major providers.