Under the Skin 2013

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An alien entity inhabits the earthly form of a seductive young woman who combs the Scottish highways in search of the human prey it is here to plunder. It lures its isolated and forsaken male victims into an otherworldly dimension where they are stripped and consumed. But life in all its complexity starts to change the alien. It begins to see itself as ‘she’, as human, with tragic and terrifying consequences. UNDER THE SKIN is about seeing ourselves through alien eyes.

Starring:
Scarlett Johansson
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Under the Skin (2013)

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 48 minutes
Starring Scarlett Johansson
Director Jonathan Glazer
Genres Science Fiction
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 14 July 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 48 minutes
Starring Scarlett Johansson
Director Jonathan Glazer
Genres Science Fiction
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 14 July 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 58 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sussman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray
SPOILER ALERT

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. The story of Scarlett Johansson's extra-terrestrial entity begins with an enigmatic "birth" sequence from another dimension or other-world. 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 Ducati 848 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 Ford Transit. 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.

For me Johansson is nothing short of hypnotic in the role as the alien and plays it so very well. There is so little vocal narrative; there are snatches of isolated dialogue. Yet there is a discernable narrative to follow - we see this through the eyes of the alien and a montage of ominous images. The scenes where her would be victims are taken (and finally processed) are amazing and chilling. All the buildings she uses, as portals to her lair, are derelict and in decay - and yet her unwitting victims follow her into the black void. Then of course is the film's extraordinary score, by Mica Levi, which furnishes our predatory alien with her three-note Siren's call. Here then is a real marriage between Levi's score and celluloid. For me this is a captivating film, but a divisive film that is not for everyone's tastes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rayfer Jarndis on 19 July 2014
Format: DVD
Quite often major hollywood actors have a presence that eclipses any character they are asked to play.
Marilyn Monroe could never escape it, although tried with some success in 'Bus Stop. 'Robert De Niro's career defining films were all about a character far more interesting than the actor, films such as 'Taxi Driver' and 'Raging Bull'.

Scarlett Johanssen hadn't had her career defining role, a film in which she could transform into something else, completely immersed and unreconisable from the actress Scarlett Johanssen. Not until 'Under the Skin', a film which polarized critics and audiences alike, refusing to conform to the movie making syllabus.

As Scarlett's alien eventually grows into 'her' skin and surroundings, humanity begins to take an effect on 'her' and we watch like a fly as 'her' story unfolds. Never do we see Scarlett Johanssen, the performance is so far removed that it is easy to see 'her' as an alien and not the actress.

What a fanastic piece of cinema. So understated, not concerned with plot (the destroyer of many a film), you have to see it before you die, it's that good.

Why is watching an alien drive a transit van so captivating? Well if that's all you get from it then i suggest you go and watch the next avengers movie, much easier, no brainer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charliesorbit on 21 July 2014
Format: DVD
To rabbit on about "genius" etc. is all a bit po-faced and Guardian reader. But I had been waiting to see this for about 3 years, having thought director's previous film Birth was a unique and extraordinary experience. UTS repeats the trick. The choices the director and his collaborators have made are wholly inspiring: first dispense with most of the book (hurrah - I loved the book but this is a film, not a book, they really are two different mediums); second the whole real-life scenarios/ real-time/improv nature gives it a look utterly unlike any film out there. I found that the risks involved in Glazer's approach were completely thrilling.The relatively slow pace becomes hallucinatory - if you allow it too. And we're not talking Bela Tarr territory here, UTS still manages to pack in a fair bit of narrative in it's running time. The nightclub scene alone is just mind-boggling. Amazing soundtrack. I paid to see this twice at the cinema, and nothing in the last year or two have come close to the reward I got from these viewings - second time was better. My personal film of the decade so far.
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