Saturday, 18 April 2015


So, I'm kind of obsessed with Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin.

Since finally seeing it a couple of months ago (I'm late to the party, and I regret not seeing it on the big screen), I've been haunted by this beautiful, eerie, psychedelic depth charge of a movie. The perfect fusion of exploitation and art-house sensibilities, Under the Skin blends the two so seamlessly and effortlessly that it makes the distinction feel completely redundant.

Forget your preconceived genre expectations, and just surrender yourself to this transcendent trip of a movie. Like Scarlett Johansson's "Female", Glazer's film is like nothing else on this planet, a thing of otherworldly beauty and alien mystery. 

It's not like Glazer is the only filmmaker to have successfully bridged the exploitation/art gap recently. Gaspar Noé, Fabrice Du Welz, Nicolas Winding Refn and Lars von Trier have all done so as well, and with spectacular results (their respective standouts being Enter the Void, Vinyan, the Pusher trilogy and Antichrist). Under the Skin, however, leads the pack as the cream of the crop of this rarified segment of genre cinema. It's a flat-out masterpiece.

A quick note on Under the Skin's fx - remember that feeling of watching a movie and being so thrown by the fx that it seemed like magic? Literally like magic, because you couldn't work out how the effect was achieved? This movie is full of moments like that. Absolutely state-of-the-art technological wizardry.

It also has to be said that Daniel Landin's cinematography does an impressive job of suggesting how alien a world this planet might appear to someone who was visiting it for the first time. Through his lens Scotland is transformed into a completely extraterrestrial environment.

But words simply can't do Under the Skin justice, so I spent a couple of hours combing through my blu-ray to pick out my favourite images from this film that stands as one of the most visually striking and beautiful sci-fi/horror flicks ever made. Important: if you haven't seen it yet, please skip these completely spoiling posts and go rent or buy the film now instead. You won't regret it.

The following three posts are presented as a loving tribute to the incredible work of Glazer, Johansson, cinematographer Daniel Landin, production designer Chris Oddy, composer Mica Levi, editor Paul Watts, prosthetics/sfx company Asylum Model & Effects and vfx company One Of Us.

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