Under the Skin (2013) 2014

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(468) 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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Under the Skin (2013)

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jonathan Glazer
Starring Scarlett Johansson
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
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

126 of 147 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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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Susman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Possible Spoilers

This is a film that has taken nearly 10 years for Director Jonathan Glazer to bring to the big screen, and had Glazer and his crew guerrilla filming north of the Scottish border. Adapted from Michel Faber's novel of the same name, the film discards virtually all of the book's `landscape' and the irony of commercial farming. The story of Scarlett Johansson's extra-terrestrial entity begins with an enigmatic "birth" sequence from another dimension or other-world. There are faint glimmers of speech hummed through a distorted fog of sound. Then vocalizations repeat and develop and it becomes clear that they're consonants, then syllabic sounds, and finally whole words. The manner in which these enunciations acquiesce into speech is matched by sight of an abstract image of light and a circular shape, which ultimately - in the most intangible way - then reveal a human eye.

The alien is then transported to Scotland's grey, rainy streets of what appears to be Glasgow and it - she - has a minder or a `familiar' for back-up support, he wears made-to-measure leathers and rides a R1 Yamaha motorbike. He acquires for her a dead human girl salvaged from the roadside. Or perhaps this is another expired alien whose shape is being reused? Whatever the case may be, our alien is soon up and running in her white Mercedes Sprint Transit - she then prowls the Highlands Lowlands. There is succinct plainspoken interconnectivity between Johansson and men who think she's just a lost lass from South of the border. She comes over as sultry and tempting, with her innocent disarming smile that could be read as being coquettish. However, the alien has one single minded purpose, to sexually entice wide-eyed males who can't trust to their good luck and are quite right not to do so.
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By ziggy_fan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Dec. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
This film dares to go, even if subtly in parts, where many other of its type would not. I am reviewing whilst trying not to give away spoilers so I apologise if some of my descriptions are figurative, but hopefully I can give you a sense of the movie. The director doesn't hold back and whilst this is not the conventional scifi alien-horror genre (the gory type, these days) it plays on your imagination as a subtext while you watch the events unfold on screen. It cuts from sleek scifi fantasy sequences to ordinary ones of crowds and individuals out and about the streets and countryside. It shows the extremes hidden behind ordinariness of some people, it flirts with some social taboos and very unforgiving in some of the events. I think those unforgiving aspects might be such that some viewers would be turned off.

With each scene of the scifi fantasy events in the story, you find out a little bit more, but it's not the sort of movie that gives you all the whys and hows it respects the audiences own intelligence and imagination, so you project some of your own ideas. However, it's not as vague as I had heard it described and in fact after some of the unfavourable reviews, I was surprised to find I was so engaged by the movie, and found it thought provoking and challenging (in a good way). There were uncomfortable sections where I could have been upset (without too much being given away, one example is the child on the beach sequences) but you have to get into a clinical mindset to get through some and "get" the film as much as is possible.
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