You may not know exactly what on earth has gone on by the end of it, but Jonathan Glazer’s Scottish based sci-fi thriller, Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien, is quite a spectacle.
Based on Michael Faber’s novel of the same name, the film follows the softly spoken extra terrestrial (Johansson) as she drives around Scotland in a van looking for her pray – which in this case is single/lonely men. Managing to attract their attention through seductive means, she takes them back to her dilapidated house with the promise of doing the nasty – but inside things just get a little weird, and somewhat confusing. Who is she? Where has she come from? Wait, why is that creepy guy following her on a bike? There is so much left unanswered, but that seems to be the point.
We know Johansson is an alien and that she prays on men for a reason not fully explained, but other than that it is left to the imagination. The book goes into more detail, but the director is less interested in the ‘what’ and ‘why’ and more concerned with making it one almighty unnerving watch, captured through the use of computer generated imagery and very striking, somewhat The Shining-like, sound.
Its initial creepiness is strangely gripping, without their actually being an awful lot going on, and that is credit to Glazer’s abstract style. Whether you think it is an artistic masterpiece, or a film too clever for its own good, it is bold, outlandish and extremely dark that makes it an intriguing watch, but one that may be a little too avant-guarde for a lot of people’s taste.