Tuesday, October 19, 2021

FINA450 - Under the Skin

Watching movies for homework is usually fun, except when it’s not fun!

Our weekly reading selection came from The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher and focused on a book, Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing, and a movie, Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer.

I downloaded Surfacing as an audiobook and haven’t finished listening to it yet, but I thought a movie would be a nice way to wrap up my weekend. Hehehe...well, not this movie! Under the Skin stars Scarlett Johannsson as an alien who roams Scotland, preying on men. There are a lot of interesting binaries in the movie such as pleasure/pain, known/unknown, civilization/wilderness, alien/human, physical/mental etc., in addition to the gender reverse of predator/prey. This would be a very different movie if it starred a male alien killer.

Visually, the film is very dark, mostly taking place at night. Audibly, there is very little dialogue and the Scottish accents are hard to decipher. There’s also a droning background track. The whole movie is designed to be unsettling and I get that. I’m usually okay with horror movies (and this one is rated R) and what not, but I didn’t like feeling unsettled and noped out of the movie after 39 minutes. It took me a few hours to feel right again afterwards!