Under the Skin (2014): Come to Me

Posted: May 4, 2014 in Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

under-the-skin-posterLaura, an alien inside the skin of an Earth woman, travels through the streets of Scotland. Slowing driving near a young man, she stops, opens the window, and asks for directions. While she engages with a few men before finding one to join her in her van, she eventually finds one who is willing to return with her to her flat. Luring him inside, they slowly take off their clothes. Laura continues to seduce him deeper and deeper into the dark room. Just when he loses the last piece of clothing, he starts to sink into the floor and disappears. Laura continues to go back out to the streets and seduce more men back to her place. When the second man sinks into the floor, he spots the first one and sees him burst out of his skin. Laura lures a disfigured man back to her place and is able to sink him into the floor, but she realizes that she feels guilty and lets him go. Leaving the city, she tries to distance herself to understand what is happening to her.

Starring: Scarlett Johansson (Laura), Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay, Dougie McConnell, Kevin McAlinden, D. Meade, Andrew Gorman, Joe Szula, Krystof Hadek, Roy Armstrong, Alison Chand, Ben Mills, Oscar Mills, Lee Fanning, Paul Brannigan

This film was one focused on the intense emotions and visual presentation of the characters. Scarlett Johansson as Laura was a strong and complex creature trying to adapt to her mission while also battling the humanity she began to feel more and more throughout the story. She is extremely sultry and seductive. The men of the film, other than the motorcycle agent, all appeared to be very weak-willed and susceptible to Johansson’s advances.

110501_gal 110502_gal 110498_gal

Presenting this artistic, sci-fi thriller was Jonathan Glazer. While there was little setup to describe Laura’s position, her story began with the assuming of human form and stealing of a woman’s clothes before the motorcycle agent disposed of the body. Her immediate mission became the seduction and destruction of weak-willed men, luring them to one of several different lairs to sink into the darkness beneath the floor. While the first several men had no effect on her, the man with elephant man disease was different. His timidness and sheltered existence had an effect on her. She looked in the mirror and saw a human staring back at her. Letting him go was an attempt to remove herself from the pain she had caused to that point. Unfortunately for her, Laura’s search for humanity led to her downfall. Taking to the kindness of a gentle stranger, she found herself finally actually engaging in sex when her disguise was damaged and forced her into hiding. She finally was turned from the predator to the target, when a logger took advantage of finding her alone in the woods.


The film was a very challenging look at the idea of seduction and rape culture. While most representations of sexual assault in film are men praying on women, this film turned the tables. In the real world, women are taught to fear for their safety and have been reinforced to not walk alone on city streets at night. If a man were to ride up and ask them to get in a van, they would be warned to stay away. For the men of this film, they left themselves open to danger. They showed no fear walking alone at night. They showed no fear getting into the van. Each of the men were distracted by Laura’s beauty and seductive nature. While none of them ever had sex, her luring of each one into her lair served as taking advantage of their naivety. The end of the movie reversed the projection back to the one normally portrayed in media, with Laura being attacked by the logger. Regardless of the direction of the attack, this film is a message for taking personal safety much more seriously.

Under the Skin is a haunting and artistic story about the alien who questions its role in the seduction and murder of weak-willed men. Johansson was phenomenally bone chilling, although the story itself is a little hard to follow and it is difficult to connect with the characters.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s