Monday, November 15, 2021

#2,662. Skin Walker (2019)


There are a handful of actors who - when I see their names in the credits - get me so giddy that I can’t wait to watch their movie. Udo Kier (Mark of the Devil, Shadow of the Vampire) is one of them. Even if the film itself isn’t that great (I’m looking at you, Mother of Tears), I usually enjoy Kier’s performance.

Case in point is writer / director Christain Neuman’s Skin Walker.

Skin Walker is not a good movie. In fact, I don’t know if it’s a “movie” at all; it’s more a collection of random sequences, strung together in no particular order, and even by that standard it’s an incoherent muddle.

Regine (Amber Anderson) returns home to attend the funeral of her much-despised grandmother (Marja-Leena Junker). After a brief but tense reunion with her father (Kier), she finds herself dealing with the traumas of her past, including the death of her deformed half-brother Isaac.

But the deeper Regine delves into her family’s secrets, the more unstable she becomes.

Told entirely from Regine’s perspective (and, minor spoiler, she’s as nutty as a fruit cake), Skin Walker is a psychological horror film, but as I stated earlier, there’s zero structure here; what starts out as slightly confusing evolves into “What-the-hell-am-I-watching” insanity by the halfway point.

It’s a shame, too, because the performances are decent and the production design, as well as Neuman’s stylistic approach to the material, is at times amazing (the sets, coupled with the occasionally jarring camera movements, are what kept my interest).

In the end, though, Skin Walker was just too befuddling to be worth the 87 minutes it demanded.
Rating: 4 out of 10

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