First show: May 02

UnderSkin3“ET landed in the cosy American suburbs and wanted to go home. Now Scarlett Johansson – or something that looks like her – lands in modern Glasgow and thinks about sticking around in Jonathan Glazer’s creepy, mysterious and bold ‘Under the Skin’. One can only guess that the weather is beyond dire on her side of the galaxy. The film is an adaptation of Michel Faber’s 2000 novel and the first in nearly a decade from the director of ‘Sexy Beast’ and ‘Birth’. It’s an intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime: it combines sci-fi ideas, gloriously unusual special effects and a sharp atmosphere of horror with the everyday mundanity of a woman driving about rainy UnderSkin4Scotland in a battered transit van.  Dressed in fake fur and what looks like a dark wig, our female visitor eyes up the locals from a distance, her eyes kindly but free of emotion. Is she curious? Hungry? Horny? It feels like a serial-killer tale as she lures men into her van from the side of the street or from the dancefloor of a nightclub, always checking they’re alone. The look of the film moves between the chilly, gliding precison that Glazer perfected in ‘Birth’ to a more rough-hewn, surveillance-style effect. Mico Levi’s score ups the dread level: it sounds at times like a new electronic language being born or a subtleUnderSkin5 form of communication between aliens. It’s a serious, often bleak film – a scene of a family faced with drowning is the film’s most horrific moment – but a wry humour stops it taking itself too seriously. It’s a story of a predator becoming prey, and it asks us to look at our world again with something like the fresh eyes of the martian poetry of Craig Raine, although that element of the film isn’t too laboured. Perhaps more interestingly, it offers some provocative sideways views on seduction, sexual power and its abuse. Daring and thoughtful”. – Dave Calhoun, Timeout, London. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. With Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay. 2013. UK. 1:185. 108 mins. MPAA Rating: R


UNDER THE SKIN: Upcoming Showtimes