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!