DVD Review: Under The Skin

"Sort of inspired by this novel. Sort of."



That's the title card that should've appeared at the beginning of this movie, which was LOOSELY adapted from a novel of the same name.

A woman (Scarlett Johansson) roams the streets of Scotland chatting with the locals, picking up hitchhikers, seducing them, and then they just disappear. What happens to them? This movie isn't going to tell you, which makes it kind of feel like a "Build Your Own Adventure" of sorts.

I'm really torn on this, because I read the novel and the film chose to only adapt 1/3 of it. We're shown countless scenes of the woman picking up her prey, but the film never tells us what she's doing with them, which was the most interesting part of the novel in the first place. The repetitive nature made this film drag and the conclusion left me wanting more.

There are a few great things about this movie. The cinematography is breathtaking and the score is absolutely perfect for the tone they set. I loved those two things. This movie was visual pleasing, and Scarlett Johansson gave a brave performance (with lots of nudity), but I'm annoyed at what this film ended up being, because it could've been more.

(If you want to know what did happen in the book, Lady Sati covered it much better than I could in her review. She's the one that told me about the book in the first place.)

Recommended: Yes, see the movie, THEN read the book. I know my review isn't glowing, but I still do recommend it as I'm sure most people that haven't read the book first will actually enjoy it.

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "You have beautiful hands." - The Woman (Scarlett Johansson)

21 comments:

  1. I wasn't a huge fan of this one either. It was good visually and ScarJo was great, but it was way too repetitive and sloggy to the point where I had a hard time making it all the way through. I haven't read the book, but it sounds much better.

    - Zach

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    1. Yep. That's pretty much exactly how I feel. You should check out the book.

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  2. I know what it feels like to have a film not live up to the book. I've had many films I didn't like because of that...and they've been praised films (Life of Pi was one of them). I haven't read this book, but I thought this was the first true masterpiece of the year. Maybe that will change when I read the book...

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    1. I think you SHOULD read the book, but I hope it doesn't change your view on the movie since you liked it so much, but it might. The book's plot was far more interesting. I would love to hear what you think afterwards.

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  3. I swear it felt like every online blogger loved this film to no end. It's nice to see a different opinion.

    The scene that stuck out to me the most was the one on the beach with the baby. It was really haunting.

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    1. I hated that scene too. That was depressing. Yes, I definitely wish I could've liked it as much as everyone else seemingly did.

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  4. I wasn't a huge fan of this either. I was told there wasn't much to the plot, but there hardly was one and that bothered me a bit.

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    1. Her just wondering around picking up hitchers was the slowest part of the novel too. I'm shocked that's all they choose to adapt.

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  5. Yeah the inspired thing really should have opened this. It just pisses me off because the book is insanely thought provoking and following it step by step would made a much, much better movie.

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    1. It is! I realize they look of the aliens would've been weird on screen, but I could've handled their appearance being different if they kept everything else.

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    2. Really the whole alteration of her form crisis from the book wasn't even hinted here, the alien form even looked humanoid and feminine...it just made very little sense considering how they kept the thing about her vagina being just a cosmetic thing that doesn't work. In the book they made the whole point of letting us know how they reproduced here it wasn't even hinted at...just a shame such a great story probably won't get a proper adaptation.

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    3. Definitely. I didn't really get a sense of Isserley's crisis at all in this film. Just hunts of it here and there. It is a shame, because that book would make a great film if someone actually gave it a go from start to finish.

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  6. Good review! This sounds like an interesting premise. After reading this post, I may skip the movie and just read the book. :-)

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    1. The book starts off a bit slow, but it's very interesting when you get into it. A lot more interesting than this ended up being.

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  7. I'm actually glad I haven't read the book, because I went in with a clean slate completely unaware of what to expect. I read Margaret's comparison to the book, and I totally agree with why the book-lovers would be disappointed. But, I'm glad you agree that the cinematography and score alone set the perfect tone. Great review, Britt :)

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    1. Thank you! I wish I would've done the same. lol. I don't regret reading the book because it was far better, but it would've been nice to have that perspective.

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  8. I haven't read the book, and I loved the movie. I know more about it from Sati's review, but I don't want the book to ruin my view of the film. Not sure if I'll read it.

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    1. I think you should still check it out to compare. I know you loved the film, so maybe it won't change your mind too badly.

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  9. I'm sure if I read the book first I would have a different reaction to the film. I like it when a movie is not a direct presentation of the source material and do hope to read the book soon. Great review

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    1. I usually don't mind that either, I'm just shocked they left out the juiciest part of the book.

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  10. The plot for this movie is simple. Alien needs to eat. The production is absolutely beautiful in all details. Perfect balance between studio gloss and streety grit. I watched it twice in one day. It's like looking at a masterpiece that moved and talks. There are plenty of reasons to look more than once. Grateful that something like this can still be made.

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