Under the Skin

13 March 2014 | by Francine Stock


While films appear to get more sophisticated with their visual effects, the ways of storytelling remain largely conventional. A successful formula is still, in much Western film-making, a three-act structure, probably within an established genre – thriller, romantic comedy, science fiction and so on. Under the Skin doesn’t so much defy this received wisdom as strike out independently. On the surface (subcutaneous puns seem inevitable) the film would appear to be sci-fi. It’s adapted from Michel Faber’s 2000 novel in which an alien lands somewhere in Scotland, assumes the body of a murdered woman and embarks on a mission to gather a commodity prized by its own kind. Yet even in that description, there’s a clue as to what makes the novel compelling. It is more

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