SKINAMARINK is a new horror movie out in theaters and available on Shudder later. This is a very different kind of supernatural horror movie that works in awakening emotions. Not traditional storytelling. It won’t be for everyone. Read our Skinamarink movie review here!
SKINAMARINK is a Shudder horror movie that played on film festivals and will be out in theaters now, before also being on Shudder later. It’s the kind of horror movie that is for an absolute minority due to its very different approach. I can imagine how it must work when screening at a genre film festival.
Watching it at home, however, is a very different experience. You know how you need to be in the right mood to really enjoy a comedy? Well, it’s the same with this movie. You have to surrender to the weirdness and darkness (what some might, fairly, label “artsy”) since there isn’t a traditional story in the movie. In other words, it definitely isn’t for everyone.
Continue reading our Skinamarink movie review below. Find it in theaters from Friday the 13th of January, 2023.
Loved the trailer, but the movie didn’t work for me
I watched the Skinamarink trailer and loved the eerie feeling it awoke in me. Even days after watching the trailer, I could hear the strange voice that continued saying “In this house…” and get shivers. It was, quite frankly, one of the strongest trailers I had seen in a long time.
However, a strong trailer isn’t worth much if it doesn’t actually reflect the movie. Or rather, I didn’t realize that this trailer isn’t meant to show you the tone of the film. It’s very much what the movie is.
By comparison, Barbarian set a strong tone in the trailer and followed up with a wild and fascinating horror story in the actual movie.
The Skinamarink movie is a slower, darker, and more gritty version of the trailer.
A nightmare of memories you’ve never made
In a nutshell, what Skinamarink does – and does well – is the very eerie and creepy tone. It’s full of weird nostalgia and emotions you might recognize as childhood fears. Like one long weird, fever-induced nightmare filled with memories that you’ve never actually made.
I can see how this could work if you watch it in a movie theater and surrender to it. At home, however, it becomes a strangely disconnected experience. Even if you turn off all the lights, there will still (for most people anyway, I suspect) be things that can disturb or interfere. A noise from the street or neighbors. Even just your own refrigerator or what have you.
It’s very hard to experience are movie like Skinamarink outside a movie theater. This being a supernatural horror movie that works in awakening emotions rather than traditional storytelling requires both a certain setting and viewer.
Watch Skinamarink in a movie theater – later on Shudder!
This very different horror movie was written, directed, and produced by Kyle Edward Ball. With Skinamarink he makes his directorial debut and the film even had its premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada. During online screenings via one of the film festivals the film took part in, it was (by mistake) made downloadable and was pirated.
The pirated versions apparently “took social media by storm” and created an “unprecedented viral sensation for an independently produced horror film”. I never came across any mention of this movie or those clips – that I recall anyway – so maybe it just happened in other horror circles or I missed its 15 minutes of viral fame.
In any case, the Shudder Original now has a theatrical run via IFC Midnight, so if you’re intrigued then make sure you check it out. Just prepare for a very different kind of “movie” that feels more like a horror art installation. As the latter, it’s intense and amazing in many ways. As a movie, it wasn’t for me. I just prefer more of a story.
I mean, even the official plot isn’t really what happens in the movie because that would mean it had a storyline of sorts. It doesn’t. It feels more like a compilation of video game segments where you’re constantly stuck. Or reading a horror novel where you only read every tenth page. Sure, it might be a creepy experience, but it’s not an actual story.
As long as you’re okay with that, then make sure you check it out in theaters now and just give in to the experience.
Skinamarink premieres in theaters on January 13, 2023. From February 2, 2023, it will also debut on Shudder.
Writer & Director: Kyle Edward Ball
Cast: Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul and Jaime Hill
In Skinamarink, two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. To cope with the strange situation, the two bring pillows and blankets to the living room and settle into a quiet slumber party situation. They play well worn videotapes of cartoons to fill the silence of the house and distract from the frightening and inexplicable situation. All the while in the hopes that eventually some grown-ups will come to rescue them. However, after a while it becomes clear that something is watching over them.