Aliens are scary! But are they lovable too? E.T. was lovable. Scarlett Johansson as a flirty alien murderess is fairly creepy, but maybe she is a little lovable too? Under the Skin is a weird movie. I don’t think it’s a movie your grandma would want to watch. Lots of Kubrick-like cinematic artsy tricks and lots of Scottish people speaking with very thick accents. These things can be frustrating for some audiences, tempered only slightly by the boobs. Except that they’re murder boobs!!
Ok, so I loved the movie Birth, and I’ve been told Sexy Beast is pretty great. Jonathan Glazer directed those flicks, the best commercial ever, decent music videos and now this movie too. What I liked about Birth is that it was so weird, so unique and so uncompromisingly ambivalent. Under the Skin is also very weird and original. It starts off without explaining itself at all, but you know enough to realize Scarlett and her terrifying motorcyclist colleague are up to no good. You discover Scarlett’s job is to drive around seducing single men, for murder-like purposes (“murder-like” is something you will have to see the film to find out about – it is worth the creepshow surprise).
But the movie is very subtle, too. By the end, the strange alien girl is a very different character, but she gets there by way of a slow unraveling. Empathy starts to expose her. Like getting second thoughts about working at an abattoir, except that it’s an abattoir run by Tony Soprano and she can’t go home because she probably arrived in a space ship or something.
So, go see it if you like scary and bizarre things. Thoughts about the weird seduction murder trap will creep up on you for hours and hours. Also, a lot of naked dudes (every time I see male full frontal, it feels like a victory for feminism). And the more marketable naked ScarJo – you don’t even need to see her weird tattoo. ★★★