Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Under The Skin

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86% (Critics) / 62% (Audience)
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer
Written By: Walter Campbell
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
Studio: A24
Synopsis: An alien in human form is on a journey through Scotland . – (Source)

The Good:
Scarlett Johannson gives a very different performance here than any I have seen from her before. She is truly distant and gives off an “other” vibe that works well for this role as an alien predator.
There are also some pretty visually impactful scenes in this film especially those that feature a baby left alone on a beach as the tide comes in. This scene really ratcheted up the tension and was probably the most gut-wrenching of the entire movie.

The Bad:
I am not a big fan of Glazer as a director. Where others see artistry I just see self-indulgence and ego. Both of those things are on full display in UNDER THE SKIN as this movie is damn near incomprehensible and stagnant. Nothing of true consequence happens, characters are given little to no depth and the movie just feels aimless.

The Ugly:
This movie was a bit of a mess from the start but it fell apart like a house of cards in a wind storm in the last 20 minutes.

Final Verdict: A visually appealing film that features a perfectly enigmatic performance from Scarlett Johansson but the film never feels like a fully formed movie but instead like an overly pretentious arthouse remake of SPECIES. Most of the hype about the film revolves around Johansson appearing in scenes where she is in different stages of undress and if that is what you are after I’ll save you 2 hours of your life by giving that to you right HERE.

Grade: D

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