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Terry's Take

Movie Review: UNDER THE SKIN

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Scarlett Johansson is one of Hollywood's most popular actresses, but her latest movie, UNDER THE SKIN, is not for mainstream audiences.
 
In fact, UNDER THE SKIN is so uncommercial I'm not sure that it would have gotten made at all if it weren't for Johansson.

A majority of the nation's movie critics praise UNDER THE SKIN, but to me it's long, slow, creepy, boring and pointless, not to mention that much of its dialogue is unintelligible.

UNDER THE SKIN is the kind of movie that gives "art films" a bad name.

At the beginning of the film, Johansson's character appears to have been beamed down to earth from outer space. Soon, she steals the clothing of a dead woman and heads to a shopping mall for more.  

Next, she's driving around Glasgow, Scotland asking single men for directions and then picking them up. Interestingly, the director tells us that these scenes were filmed with hidden cameras and that the men she picks up had no idea (at first) that they were being filmed.
 
Alien: Do you think i'm pretty?
Guy: I think you're gorgeous.
Alien: Do you?
Guy: Definitely.
Alien: Good.

Johansson's character is a literal femme fatale who leads her victims into an inky liquid that swallows them up. The movie doesn't tell us why, but in the novel it's based on, the men are being harvested for their muscle meat which is considered a delicacy on the planet she comes from.

But this heartless alien in human form eventually encounters a disfigured man who arouses something like sympathy in her.

Aien: When was the last time you touched someone?

And when strangers in the street help her after she falls on her face, their kindness helps her to begin caring about the men she meets.

But will her interplanetary handlers accept such a change? I think you can guess the answer.

I recognize that the actress and the director took huge chances in making this film, but that doesn't mean they created something people will want to sit through.
 
Consider this a warning.
 
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.