Let me start by saying that Skinamarink is going to be a really, REALLY divisive movie.
Even if you understand what the director intended with it, doesn’t mean you hate or love it, hell, maybe you are going to end up confused as to how you feel about it and I’m leaning towards believing that is what he wants.
I will be very straightforward.
In order for you truly immerse in Kyle Edward Ball’s mind, world… you need to turn off the lights, your phone, and your brain.
Go back to when you were a child, what really and truly scared you.
If you are expecting monsters with a face, a serial killer, or just somebody who snapped, you are going to be really disappointed. Maybe it sounds cliché, but this is more of an experience than a movie to watch.
Remember when turning the lights off at night, being a child, would make your brain go crazy?
Seeing faces in the darkness, hearing every sound the house made at night… the pile of dirty clothes would become the bogeyman and this film is precisely this.
It’s obviously not for everyone, maybe not for the vast majority but it definitely is going to have its niche.
Being an experimental film means you will find so many things open to interpretation.
Skinamarink can appeal to your own fears and experiences and that’s why people can interpret different meanings or give a wide variety of symbolisms.
From Child abuse to a house break-in passing through hallucinations created by the dying brain of a kid, you name it and the narrative could fit.
From time to time feels too long for its own good, some repetitive scenes can tempt you to check your phone and look at how much is left and that is never a good thing.
Because the film is set in the 90s, it was shot in a way that appears one of those grainy old homemade VHS films, which you can appreciate.
The static angles of door frames, ceiling, tv… can remind you of a lot of experimental films or the cult fan favorite “The Blair Witch Project”.
You barely see any face, it has a jump scare here and there, and being honest I didn’t really like that because they felt more like giving something “scary” for the sake of giving something scary instead of going with what he is trying to build.
I want to believe since this film seems to be from a child’s point of view, that’s why we have these camera angles and distorted voices but very clear music and dialogue from the cartoons on the tv.
You are going to need to read subtitles for this if you don’t want to feel left out and I know how many people feel about them, but they are kind of necessary.
Maybe you will feel like nothing is happening and that there’s no story, maybe you will feel it drags a lot.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a masterpiece that only intellectuals will get, because you have to put an effort to get immersed in the movie and get swallowed in what’s happening… but not in the screen.
Let me be extremely clear, Skinamarink is about what your mind can create, what your imagination can put on the screen, and fill in the blanks.
The story of the two siblings talking to a demon and being scared of what they see in the darkness, of what happens in that darkness.
Is just another book you are reading under your blankets; another story you tell your little friends to scare them… like an audiobook feeding your imagination.
The last couple of minutes and especially the ending is pure nightmare fuel for our inner child.
Like the kid’s song the title takes the name from, Skinamarink only has the sense you want to give it.
Skinamarink is coming to Shudder on February 2, 2023.
If you already watch it or going to watch it, let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading.