Written by Glazer and Walter Campbell, and scored by Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes fame, Under The Skin follows Scarlett Johansson’s unnamed alien. She’s been sent to Earth by an alien corporation to prey on unwary hitchhikers. As the official synopsis puts it: “Part road movie, part science-fiction, part real, it’s a film about seeing our world through alien eyes.” (synopsis via empireonline.com)
Funding the love of your life is not the easiest of tasks.
And it’s no doubt complicated even further when the woman of your dreams, and why the hell wouldn’t Scarlett Johansson be that person, alien or no, turns out to be an extraterrestrial with decidedly gruesome appetites for the men she meets.
Johansson plays the part of Laura, an alien on a reconnaissance mission of sorts designed to get to know humanity better; and when we say “better” we mean kidnap men who won’t be noticed, seduce, then when they least expect trap them inside a prison of black goo and skip merrily off with the essence of who they are.
Beats the hell out of joining dating websites I guess or Googling “What is humanity really like?” and Laura seem quite at home fulfilling her mission until she meets The One and loses her desire to keep treating humanity in such a nasty, utilitarian manner.
What makes this film work by all accounts is that it reflects the reality of trying to make connections and really get to know people, coupled with all sorts of surreal, trippy visual images that lend this search for what makes humanity tick look like a by product of a night spent at a hippy commune smoking, well, you know.
Granted not all the reviews have been positive, after its premieres at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals, with some critics openly heaping scorn upon director Jonathan Glazer’s nine years in development passion project:
“To me, Under the Skin is a lot like another visually beautiful but plotless and pretentious film from a director who is capable of so much more: David Cronenberg’s recent Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson.” (Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter)
and it could end up being a repeat of the ridiculously arty mess that was Only God Forgives, which was without a doubt the worst film of 2013 as far as I’m concerned, but being the optimistic Pollyanna-esque cinemagoer that I am, I am willing to give it a go largely based on how gloriously cool the trailer looks.
And if it’s awful? Well, there’s always a post to vent about it in isn’t there?
Under the Skin opens in USA on 4 April 2014.