I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed by this film. However, my disappointment didn’t come due to the film itself. The sense of disappointment came at the hype I heard about the film prior to my viewing of it. Before seeing the film, I saw only one trailer in theaters about it, but I saw hundreds of TikTok videos and YouTube videos talking about how scary the film is.
I almost fell asleep while watching it. I don’t know if that’s because of the film or if that’s because I’m just desensitized by watching all the horror films that I do.
Written and directed by Kyle Edward Ball, the film is set in the 90’s and is set inside a house. Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing. They then find out that all the windows and doors in their home have vanished.
Let’s talk about what I liked about the film first.
I liked the fact that the film had a budget of $15,000. I’m not sure I’ve seen a film in theaters where it had such a low budget. As of the writing of this review, Saturday, Jan. 28 (I’m a little bit late, I apologize), the film hit $1,737,725 gross worldwide. That’s crazy.
I also liked that the film was of avant-garde, or experimental, variety. It played with the length of shots that were of dark hallways, it built suspense that never paid off, it only showed partial faces of the children, and had some weird camera angles. The audio was muddled during some of the film to the point that, sometimes, the movie would have subtitles so that you could still understand the dialogue.
Outside of the experimental elements of this film, I thought that it did an amazing job at building suspense. Whenever the camera focused on a darkened hallway for an extended period of time, I steeled myself thinking that there would be a jump scare. I also enjoyed the creepiness of the disembodied voice that terrorized the children.
If you’re in the mood to watch an experimental film in the theater, I would definitely recommend this film.
Having said all of that, if you’re a fan of mainstream Hollywood films, then I do not recommend spending money to watch this film in theaters.
I say that because of all the things that I liked about it. The things I liked could ultimately be used against the film as well. The film was too long, running at 1hour and 40 minutes, and spent too much time lingering on darkened hallways and other places in the house. It could’ve easily been shortened to an hour or so. The film built up suspense but only paid off less than a handful of times. For those that aren’t fans of weird films, they most likely won’t appreciate the weird camera shots. One of the advantages of showing the actor’s faces is that they can show emotion. Doing so allows the audience to sympathize with the character’s plight.
At the end of the day, I felt that Skinamarink was a decent entry into the 2023 horror scene. I’m glad that we’re seeing more independent horror films and that the audiences are supporting them. There definitely should be more films that try new things and tell fresh, interesting stories.
Here’s how Skinamarink rated among the other films I’ve seen in 2023:
2. The Devil Conspiracy
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