Under The Skin (A24)
Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, some violence and language.
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay, Dougie McConnell, Kevin McAlinden, D. Meade, Andrew Gorman, Joe Szula, Krystof Hádek, Roy Armstrong, Alison Chand, Ben Mills, Oscar Mills, Lee Fanning, Paul Brannigan, Marius Bincu, Scott Dymond, Stephen Horn, Adam Pearson, May Mewes, Michael Moreland, Gerry Goodfellow, Dave Acton, Jessica Mance.
Written by Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer, based on the novel by Michel Faber.
Directed by Jonathan Glazer.
I have often wondered how easy it would for an advanced alien race to take over the world. Under The Skin, a new movie starring Scarlett Johansson offers a very real scenario how that could happen.
Johansson plays an alien (in human skin) who scours the streets of Scotland in search of gullible men who are willing to follow her into a trap. The trap is intended to ensnare the men into a room where they are encased in a tank, and their flesh is harvested and sent back to the alien planet for food. The men are lured by the promise of having sex with the woman, who uses her skills of attraction quite successfully.
The woman has absolutely no morals, preying on a man who tries to save a family from drowning. For an added measure of heartlessness, the woman also leaves the family’s infant baby crying alone on the chilly beach. Eventually, the woman encounters a disfigured man and has pity on him, which upsets her alien overlords, and she takes off on her own to avoid repercussions. While on the lam, the woman meets a kind man who gives her comfort and she takes up residence in his humble country home. She soon discovers that she is not sexually compatible with the man and takes off again to wander the forest, where she meets up with a less than kind stranger.
Under The Skin is a strange and mesmerizing study of Earth’s human habitants as seen through the eyes of a predator. Scarlett Johansson’s performance is a far cry from her portrayal as an Avenger (Black Widow, indeed). It’s a chilling depiction of a soulless predator, yet Johansson is equally sympathetic when the alien discovers her own humanity.
It should be noted that Under The Skin is rated R (perhaps closer to NC-17) for several scenes of sexuality and disturbing images. The irony of the sexuality is that many people will be lured into theaters expecting to see (quite a lot of) Johansson, but will soon find out that Under The Skin is something else entirely.
You have been warned.