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  • Writer's pictureKane Vallance

Mini Review: Skinamarink

Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished.

Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul, Jaime Hill

Skinamarink has proven to be massively divisive from both critics and general audiences alike—especially since it’s become such a sensation online from horror fans. From that, I naturally had extremely high expectations for Kyle Edward Ball’s debut experimental feature, and those expectations were set even higher by my personal love for the horror genre and weird, experimental twists on that. I’m a big fan of movies breaking the mould and changing the formula, but for me, Skinamarink did it in a lot of the wrong ways. 

I didn’t hate everything: the sound design was haunting, and conceptually I admire everything at hand here. The odd concept, the grainy filter, the generally unsettling aesthetic—the ingredients for something I’d truly love are all here, but the execution was where I found my love drained completely. 

Almost every shot is similar to an extremely boring extent—it’s either a part of a wall, the bottom of the stairs, or a look in to the pitch black. And when almost all of the 100 minute run time consists of that, I found my interest wavering more and more. It became a struggle to finish, and I’d be lying if I said I was able to pay attention to all of it without looking elsewhere or trying to find any possible distraction I could. There’s so little to grasp in terms of plot or character, and such poor pacing, that I couldn’t find myself immersed in this experimental experience. 

Though thanks to the divisive nature of this uncanny movie, I’d still recommend it to anyone who’s curious about it. Many will (and do) love it, while others will (and do) hate it like I did. So turn off the lights and watch it late at night, sit in the darkness of a cinema on your own and see what you think for yourself. As for me, I tried incredibly hard to like it, but in doing that I found myself completely disconnected and not remotely entertained. 

Hate would be too strong of a word, but rating it any higher than a star feels untrue to a mixture of my own subjective and objective views on the film. 

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