Total Film | Under The Skin Review


Jonathan Glazer, the returning hero of British film absent from our screens a whole decade since 2004’s Birth, has turned in what could well be the most beguiling, inventive, atmospheric and unnerving Brit-pic of the year.

Enigmatic and chilly in tone, it’s not the kind of film dripping with exposition. We open on a series of bizarre images set to Mica Levi’s eerie score, which can be assumed to suggest some kind of hyper-sophisticated intergalactic travel.

Then we see Scarlett Johansson (sensationally detached) driving around the Scottish highlands and suburban Glasgow in a van, attracting men into her cab with her, well, Scarlett Johansson-ness, then taking them through a mysterious door in a dilapidated house.

What happens in there? It’s best not to know; suffice to say, the images that accompany the big reveal will stay with you long after the film is over. What exactly she does do is just one mystery among many in this intriguing film – and as we realise Johansson is an alien on some predatory mission, even more questions open up.

You may not be sure what you've seen, but you've sure seen something. With neither a petticoat nor a wideboy in sight, this is one of the most original and exciting British movies in some time.

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