Under the Skin (2013) 2014 CC

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(568) IMDb 6.3/10
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Under the Skin is the story of an alien in human form. Part road movie, part science fiction, part real, it?s a film about seeing our world through alien eyes.

Scarlett Johansson
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jonathan Glazer
Starring Scarlett Johansson
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Mason TOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this film, and I think it is destined to be a future cult classic. Scarlett Johansson plays an alien life form who takes on a human body, in the style of Jeff Bridges in Starman. However, unlike the kindly and well intentioned Starman, in this movie the extra-terrestrial has a malevolent purpose. She entices horny single men back to her lair, which is a mundane and rundown estate house in the Scottish Highlands. The house, Tardis like, disguises an other worldly dimension, where the alien undresses, leading the men into a strange substance which looks like a cross between oil and mercury. The substance mutates and dissolves the bodies, leaving behind only the skin. We're never told why the men are used in this way, whether it is for the alien to learn about human biology, or for sustenance. One of the victims is a horrifically disfigured virgin male, who looks a bit like the Elephant Man, and the sequence of his seduction and entrapment is mesmerising.
As the alien experiences more of human life and culture, including our food, music, architecture, kindness, and even sex, she starts to let her guard down, and softens her behaviour towards human beings. This, ultimately, leads to her fate, a chilling sequence in a forest. This is a slow moving and beautifully shot sci-fi thriller. Ms Johansson has limited dialogue, she conveys most of her thoughts and feelings through her eyes and body language, and I found her performance spellbinding. She appears naked in a few scenes, but it's never done gratuitously.
There is very little CGI, there is no need for it, the film is highly original and relies far more on ideas than effects. The film score is suitably eerie and memorable. If you like quirky, weird and inventive sci-fi, which doesn't need to hide behind CGI, i.e.
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143 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Steve Cook on 1 April 2014
Format: DVD
Under The Skin

Imagine that you condensed the plot of a novel down to a single sentence.

Now ignore half of that sentence and make a film of the result.

This seems to have part of the ten year creative process in turning Michel Faber’s novel into Jonathan Glazer’s film.

The resulting film is both haunting and beautiful, contrasting the grit and reality of Glasgow with the isolated emptiness of the Scottish countryside and a clinical hyper-stylised ‘alien’ lair.

The lair scenes and the opening sequence, especially, are reminiscent of Kubrick’s interpretation of Arthur C Clarke’s ‘2001’ whilst the overall feeling is similar to David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’, the awkward outsider who struggles to understand this human world.

Whilst much has been made of the use of real people as victims it’s Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of the seductress, Laura, hunting down lonely men for unspeakable reasons that will stay with the viewer, her understated beauty and unease perfect for the character of Laura but so different from the novel’s awkward, surgically deformed protagonist Isserley.

Book and film stand apart, and the good news is that experiencing neither would affect the enjoyment of the other so different are the storylines but I can’t help thinking that the film lacked a lot in explanation although it more than made up for this with style.

If anything the book is probably darker than the film condemning everything from big business to factory farming and exploring the idea of class through an alien culture. The film touches on none of these themes and the viewer could easily be left wondering what it was all about.
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By The Movie Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray
The basic storyline is a female alien drives a van through Scotland seducing men.

The film opening has a faint muffled voice. It is the alien being learning to speak. What appears to be an alien comes to Scotland and tricks men into coming into her world where they can't walk on water. I wasn't sure if this was real science fiction or something like that Jake Gyllenhaal thing and this was just another metaphor for human relations...which it still could have been. The film changes direction about midway.

Scarlett plays an almost robotic alien, very slow and deliberate in her moves. She doesn't know how to respond to many situations. She asks for directions as if she was reading from a foreign phrase manual. As far as Sci-Fi goes in this genre I think "Phantasm" was more entertaining and "Liquid Sky" more clever.

I think her acting was well done, but as far as entertaining, if left something to be desired. Clearly this is not a film for everyone.

Parental Guidance: F-bomb, sex, attempted rape, full frontal nudity. This is another film that features a naked woman so we can all pretend it's great science fiction. Oh where are my copies of Species, Splice, and Lifeforce. 3 1/2 stars for the perv factor
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49 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Gelderd VINE VOICE on 7 Aug. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
This is one of those films where I am struggling to give it a star rating. On one hand it could be a 2 star film, but easily it could be a 4 star film. It may even be a 5 star film. I’ve never experienced a film so haunting, so simple but so surreal and thoughtful in its narrative and cinematography that it becomes engrossing and uncomfortable to watch at the same time.

Scarlett Johansson simply carries the film (much like Tom Hardy did recently in another character driven film ‘Locke’), and you can’t take your eyes off her. She has little dialogue and conveys her emotion via her physical appearance. She is an actress capable of entertaining masses in action blockbusters or dreamy rom-coms but proving her also a grounded understanding of what it means to strip away the excess of Hollywood escapism and portray one of the most complex, realistic-cum-fantastical and haunting characters in her career to date. Her natural beauty is also something you can’t fail to admire, and that plays to her strength as a seductive being out for more sinister goals. She takes us on an emotional journey through a range of emotions and ultimately we can’t fail to finally warm to her, feel compassion for her and understand her.

Saying that, the supporting cast of largely unknown UK faces (bar possibly pro motorcyclist Jeremy McWilliams) add to the look and feel of this film greatly, giving it lots of authenticity. It plays out almost like a fly-on-the-wall documentary on the streets of Scotland, with improvised dialogue between the actors and Johansson for a very natural process of seduction. They are brave actors who take on full frontal nudity in nightmarish situations and they help make Johansson’s character all the more mysterious as the fish out of water in Scotland.
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