Under the Skin

‘Under the Skin’ reinvents sci-fi tropes to dazzling effect

An alien lifeform comes to Earth disguised as a beautiful woman, to prey on unwary human males, seducing them and luring them to their doom. Nine times out of ten, a premise like that of Under the Skin would produce a crass, low brow skin flick, psuedo-porn masquerading as science fiction. But director Jonathan Glazer seems to know this, and has performed the same bait and switch as the alien in the film, luring audiences in with the promise of eroticism and dropping them unawares into a disorienting, frightening landscape. But unlike the poor saps of the film, victims of Glazer’s seduction will come out with their internal organs still safe and sound in their body cavities, and a truly unique film experience to reflect on.

‘Under the Skin’ is a masterwork of otherworldly images that baffle, shock, and seduce

It’s about time that people start getting excited about Jonathan Glazer and his uniquely transcendent contributions to cinema. Under the Skin represents the director’s third film, a rabbit hole masterwork of baffling beauty and seduction spearheaded by a career best performance from Scarlett Johansson. Glazer returns after a nine-year hiatus, his last film – 2004’s Birth, mostly fell on deaf ears as a divisive dramatic/thriller. While Birth was in fact a nice sophomore success, Glazer drastically steps his game up with Under the Skin, an often troubling and beautiful film that should baffle and surprise in equal measure.

TIFF 2013: ‘Under the Skin’ extremely disquieting and uncompromising

It’s not difficult to see why Jonathan Glazer′s 9-year hiatus from the big screen has been so protracted given the deeply uncommercial nature of his extremely disquieting new film Under The Skin. Carried aloft on a wave of five-star reviews from its Venice premiere, the film is based on the cult novel by Michel Faber, and on first sight seems to be a Lynchian reworking of Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth, with Scarlett Johansson perfectly cast as a porcelain succubus, all raven hair and deadly crimson lips.

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