Skinamarink Review

In Paranormal Activity 3, there is a scene where the father attaches a video camera to an oscillating fan. As the view moves from left to right the anticipation builds as we go from one side of the room to the other. We do not know what we are going to see when the view changes but we can not keep our eyes off the screen. We lean closer to see if we can avoid the upcoming scare but the slow pan on the screen hypnotizes us with our own anxiety.

Skinamarink does the exact same thing to its viewers but tenfold. While the movie feels like an experimental college film, it does an excellent job of building that anticipation throughout the movie. The dialogue in the movie is sparse and we are not given much of an exposition in the beginning. We do know that it is the children’s bedtime and the entire family is going to sleep. Then the nightmare begins. We start hearing noises in the house and deep voices telling the children to “Come upstairs.” The use of non-centered images and children whispering add to the eerieness of the movie.

The film is shot in a way that reminds you of waking up late at night during your childhood. Remember those nights when you would wake up and you swear you see something in the dark corners of the room? Or those nights when you walk to the bathroom and the dark hallways seem to be getting longer as you walk toward your destination. This movie brings back those feelings of anxiety that surround you and have you looking into a corner or away from the screen because you do not know what is going to happen next.

This movie did have me on the edge of my seat and my anxiety levels were pretty high. Just watching the darkness on the screen and not knowing what was going to happen next had me looking away from the screen. What adds to the anxiety is how the darkness envelops you inside a movie theater. Everyone is going through the same experience and their own anxieties start coming into play. You can hear the nervousness of the crowd with those awkward giggles or heavy breathing as the voices get louder. Seeing this in theaters enhances the experience similar to how the final minutes of the Blair Witch Project had everyone screaming for Heather to not run into the basement.

Speaking of screaming at the screen, there is one moment when Kaylee goes into her parent’s room and hears a voice telling her to look under the bed. Internally I yelled out “Don’t do it!” and I did hear some people saying the same thing to themselves. I am not going to say what happens in the rest of the scene but as stated before, your anxiety levels will go up while watching this movie.

Skinamarink is a movie that needs to be experienced in a dark theater with hundreds of other people around you. That shared experience is enhanced within a dark theater and surrounded by the darkness from the screen. This movie will divide people in how they react to it. Some people might find it scary while others might not. Skinamarink is a slow burn with an ending that will make you not want to open your eyes when you lay in bed at night! Sweet dreams!

Final Thoughts: Skinamarink is not going to be for everyone. The slow burn might turn away those that want jump scares thrown at them every few minutes. The use of silence, darkness, and non-centered shots only add to the eerieness of the movie. It does a great job of building anticipation and raising your anxiety as you watch.

Kid-Friendly: Horror movies are subjective in the amount of fear that kids can handle. While there are no actual scenes that are scary the scenes of total darkness might be a little too much for younger viewers. I would recommend this for children 16 and above.

Violence: The is no violence in the movie that is shown on screen. We do hear some screaming and see blood splattered but again nothing is shown on the scene.

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. To cope with the strange situation, the two bring pillows & blankets to the living room and settle into a quiet slumber party. They play well-worn videotapes of cartoons to fill the silence of the house and distract from the frightening and inexplicable situation. All the while in the hopes that eventually some grown-ups will come to rescue them. However, after a while, it becomes clear that something is watching over them.

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