Friday, July 3, 2015
Under the Skin, with Scarlett Johanssen in a quease-making central role, underlines one of the age old adages of cinema – first class novels make second class films and vice versa. I’d read the book before seeing the film. The result was curiously schizophrenic. Watching the movie was overlaid by hovering images that had remained with me from the book. These two bands of experience were almost completely different. It was only afterwards that I could tease out one from the other. While the book is a little above average, the film is innovative, shot largely in darkness and with an eerie, neck-tingling soundtrack. Using only a twisted fragment of its source material it creeps insidiously under your guard. It’s great cinema if you want your horror cerebral and you prefer not to be spoon-fed with predictability.