|DVD In Their Skin
Run time: 97 min
Genres: Horror | Thriller
Director: Jeremy Power Regimbal
Writers: Joshua Close, Justin Tyler Close
Stars: Selma Blair, Joshua Close, James D’Arcy
After the accidental death of their six-year-old daughter, the Hughes family escape their busy upscale suburban life and head to their isolated cottage for some quality time. An evening with their friendly neighbors is suddenly interrupted when one mans obsession with perfection escalates into a violent struggle, forcing the families to go beyond what they ever thought they were capable of in order to survive. Written by Anonymous
|Plot Keywords: psychopath, therapy session, family in danger, mother son relationship, father son relationship|
Release Date: 9 November 2012 (USA)
Budget: $4,000,000 (estimated)
The only difference between this movie and Funny Games is in this movie it is a psycho family, some nudity and sex scenes and a few more gunshots. Other than that I couldn't believe this movie script didn't get thrown out as a complete knock off of Funny Games.
Now if you have not seen Funny Games, then I suggest you pick your villain. If you want to see two psycho young men torture a normal wealthy family, go see Funny Games. If you want to see a psycho lower class family torture a normal wealthy family, see this movie.
Both movies have great casts and great acting but I would have to give this film a slight edge in that category. However, when it comes to the disturbingly psychopathic factor in the villains, I give that edge to Funny Games.
All in all, don't waste your time like I did with this movie if you have seen Funny Games. Definitely a good experience I imagine for those who haven't.
…despite a somewhat suspect plot that raises a few too many questions that aren't satisfactorily addressed, "In Their Skin" manages to transcend its flaws to deliver a reasonably creepy psycho-thriller. Primarily it's the third act where everything falls apart. Premise: a young yuppie family has retreated to a summer home to work through the grief of losing a daughter, only to be tormented by an invasive mirror family of head cases who want to usurp their identities. We get to know our protagonists in Act I, we meet the antagonists in Act II, and things play out in the closing Act III. All well and good; classic Syd Field stuff. The cast is mostly on the ball, the lensing and lighting well done, effective helming from its tyro director/co-writer; there's much to like in this film.
However, as mentioned, things fall apart as what started out as a slow- burning tension builder devolves into a disappointingly routine assault on our protagonists, replete with numerous stupid moves on the part of characters who've apparently never seen movies like this one before. The most egregious failures involve a lack of explanation/willing suspension of disbelief concerning the antagonist "family." They simply don't behave like real people; they're authorial constructs only. They have no real background, no internal consistency, and it doesn't take an audience long to figure out they have no likely future, either. One can only wonder how this trio's leader subverted his followers into his dementia.
Ultimately, "In Their Skin" fails to pack the punch of progenitors like "Funny Games" or "Last House on the Left." It's not a terrible watch, but it's far from essential, or even recommended. Check out one of the two I just mentioned instead.
This skin crawling little creeper leaves a lasting impression. It utilises the same "parents grieving for a dead child and on a retreat to heal" motif as DON'T LOOK NOW, DEAD CALM and ANTICHRIST. But this is little more than an angle on which to hang the disturbing and hyper-tense drama.
Successful career couple Mary and Mark, along with their eight year old son Brendon, decamp to their luxurious family cottage in the wooded middle of nowhere following the death of their daughter. From the off, with Mary being watched by someone in the woods, the atmosphere is one of unnerving discord. Things quickly escalate when "neighbours" Bobby, Jane and their son, Jared, invite themselves to dinner. Seems the neighbours are not so friendly; in fact, they are itinerant wanderers who kill others and take on their identities and possessions until it's time to move on to the next unfortunate family.
Each performance is pitch perfect and the sense of creeping unease and foreboding is almost palpable. Bobby (James D'Arcy) is a criminally insane sociopath capable of extreme violence and brutality. He wants to play with his victims before taking them out. Psychologically, sexually and physically. His adopted wife and son are thoroughly indoctrinated and submissive acolytes, utterly entrenched in his psychotic ideals of achieving a perfect life.
The tension is skilfully ratcheted up in a slow burn by first time director Regimbal, from the increasingly uncomfortable dinner sequence to a suspense-filled climax. This is one of those films that will have you on the edge of your seat, willing the victims to do something, anything, to fight back against the increasingly dire circumstances that threaten to overwhelm them.
Performances are effective and emotionally convincing all round. Audience sympathies are never divided, for the antagonists are irredeemably cruel, inadequate psychopaths in pursuit of a twisted dream and the protagonists anguished and grieving innocents struggling to come to terms with tragedy. It's a powerful and provocative piece of work that stands head and shoulders above most of the phony schlock horror out there, and for this reason alone deserves attention.
First off, I know this film has been compared to a lot of other similar movies but, since I haven't seen any of them, I will be judging this one on it's own merit.
It's not very good.
'In Their Skin' presents us with a professional couple attempting to move past a recent family tragedy. Together with their 8 year old son and faithful golden retriever they retreat to a pretty spiffy, secluded home in the woods.
What follows is a good 25 minutes of awkward PG-13 sex, minimal plot advancement and lots of moody scenes that all pretty much say 'I blame you for the pain I'm in'.
Finally (thankfully!) a trio of creepy neighbors appear and the thrilling really begins!
Here's the problem –
If the invaders were just that, home invaders victimizing the people they randomly came across then fine, o.k., simple but plausible.
Instead, we are asked to believe the main villain played by James D'Arcy who, I'm just going to say it, is basically impersonating Bruce Dern throughout most of the movie, which is fine, but we already have a Bruce Dern, we are asked to believe he is actually attempting some complicated identity theft scheme that was worked out way in advance. And this is idiotic. Like most junior Mansonites these three all have problems with impulse control and clearly don't have the means or follow through to execute such a long term plan.
I will admit the pacing does improve in the 3rd act and there are some tense moments but they are too few and too far in between.
A lot of film school students might tell you otherwise, but there is nothing deep or introspective about a series of meandering scenes that lead to an arbitrary climax that could have occurred 40 minutes sooner.
And just to save me the time of adding a note under the IMDb 'goofs' section I'll end with a simple question.
How did they finally call 911?
Check out 'Cabin In the Woods' More thrills, a few laughs, much better choice!!