• James Rutherford

'Under the Skin': A Monument of Sublime Avant-Garde Science Fiction


Movie poster for the film Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson

"Under the Skin" (2013) is a striking and disquieting science fiction thriller from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy BeastBirth) that stars Scarlett Johansson as a nameless alien lifeform in human guise who walks the streets of modern-day Scotland and lures unsuspecting men to their gruesome demise.


Her ultimate intention for human destruction left cryptic and obscure, Johansson's iniquitous intruder uses the full breadth of her feminine allure to seduce and ultimately destroy her gentleman callers within a liquid abyss quite nearly impossible to describe effectively in words--but it's one hell of an abstract and foreboding visualization.


Aided by a mysterious motorcyclist, the woman ultimately finds herself at a point of personal reckoning along the course of her destructive campaign. Questioning her human form and exploring the trappings of human existence, her own mortality soon becomes the dramatic focal point of this entirely distinctive and unparalleled tale of existential discovery.


Nearly 10 years in the making, Glazer has crated something altogether fresh and boldly invigorating with this one. It's high-minded and esoteric filmmaking for those akin to sense and intuition over more prosaic narrative trappings. Certainly not for all viewers, but "Under the Skin" will prove to be a treat for those in search of something unorthodox, challenging and darkly rewarding.

 

View the trailer: