Under the Skin (2013)

It’s not often that you see filmmaking at this level. Under the Skin is quite simply a masterpiece, it’s also a film that divides people, and it did divide me for the most part, until I, like the main character transcended during the second half of the film.

This is probably my most pretentious review. As a script writer for hire I’m a big fan of Jonathan Glazer and I’d been meaning to catch up with this film for a while. Finally I came across it on Netflix and settled down one evening last week to watch it.

There’s an obvious 2001 feel about the opening, and I’d recently watched Species 2 (I’ll blog about that tomorrow – Species 2 is actually rather good fun) so I was all over the alien predator female plot. So the film started, gritty, well made, stunningly shot… and then after about half an hour I felt it was going nowhere. I felt pretension creep in. I started to get angry. My wife stopped watching the film. I stuck with it.

Then, during the course of the film, the main character goes through a change, transcendence. As a viewer the same thing happened to me – I suddenly found myself deeply moved by the film. By the end of the film, I felt that I’d watched something extraordinary, a genuine masterpiece.

So, like a football match I found this film a game of two halves. I urge readers to seek it out, watch it and stick with it. It does get under your skin.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He also works as a content writer for hire and as a UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour