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Under The Skin [DVD] 
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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.
UNDER THE SKIN, starring Scarlett Johansson, is Jonathan Glazer’s critically-acclaimed third feature after Sexy Beast and Birth.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's loosely based on a novel of the same title, by Michel Faber. The plot concerns a female alien who comes to Earth, arriving in Scotland, and takes on the appearance of a beautiful and sexy young woman (Scarlett Johansson). She's tasked with seducing and luring lone men to a derelict house, in which they fall prey to a trap - being caught in some sort of liquid dimensional rift - and where they're slowly dissolved (while still alive) from the inside out ... and then, as goop, their remains are sent off to some other world (presumably to be consumed).
This femme fatale realises that what she's doing is wrong. And she starts to acquire a genuine interest in - and possibly a liking for - the Earth and humankind. So she decides to cease her activities and run off ... resulting in some male aliens trying to track her down.
It's a very bleak tale. There's no humour, and little or no joy, in this movie. It succeeds in portraying a picture of 'us' (people) as alien, as seen from the protagonist's perspective. We are "the Other" - and such a depiction can be disturbing.
It's well acted all round. There is some nudity, and brief moments of sex (including a rape scene). So this is not a kids film. I suspect that, over time, this movie will gain an audience that appreciates its dark qualities.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Surprised to find myself unable to give a Scarlet Johanssen film more than one star. Surprised too to find her in such a piece of junk as this thing is. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Kilrymont
Spectacular film! So thought provoking. It really sticks in my mind.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
weird, I don't think that it is explained why Scarlett does what she does. It's not til the very end that title makes sense.
There's a lot of extras.
Succeeds in being original but way too few answers to be credible -script half-baked.
Johannsen carries movie with sexual aplomb but Gillian Anderson would have acted... Read more
I really, really don't know why this is regarded so highly. Because it's art? It's an ok movie, far from a masterpiece. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I came to this film knowing nothing about it which can be a bonus as reviews and trailers usually give too much away. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Greensleeves
This was genuinely one of the worst films I've ever seen. The critical reviews all paint a picture of a bleak, thought-provoking film with complex themes; what you actually get is... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bissy86