Let’s Talk About It:
During my Tumblr days, I was duped into reading No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. I gave it an average review – it wasn’t anything special. Surely it wasn’t the life-changing, genius collection that Booklr promised it would be. It was just okay. But I made a vow to myself that I would never be swayed by the internet again.
And here I am, thirteen years later. Being swayed by the internet again.
A lot of chatter began in Facebook horror groups during the tail-end of 2022. It started in the found footage group* I’m a part of and it spread to other groups. It leaked onto TikTok and Twitter and invaded other spaces I occupied at the time. Skinamarink was the latest horror movie darling, scaring the pants off reviewers and movie festival judges. It promised a new level of fear through the lens of an experimental horror movie.
And while the movie was a Shudder original, that meant I would be able to watch it when it was released. However, that wasn’t the case. I’d have to wait for a short theater run to be able to watch it in the comfort of my own home.
Skinamarink hits all the right nostalgia marks. It presents itself as a retro horror movie, something you may have picked up at the video store on a Friday night. All the credits to the movie are presented at the beginning, adding to that feel. The film is grainy, almost VHS quality.
But that’s it.
That’s its whole gimmick. That is all the movie offers.
It’s difficult to call the movie a slow burn like 2015’s The Witch. This movie has no burn. It’s just loud sounds, disembodied voices, camera angles reminiscent of something you’d see in a TikTok horror video – angles meant to make the viewer uncomfortable – out of focus shots, and zero story. There is no payoff at the end and you’re left wondering why you wasted an hour-and-forty-minutes of your life.
And that’s the thing – much like July’s stories reminded me of Tumblr posts, this movie felt more like those grainy viral videos posted and reposted on TikTok than it did a cohesive movie. The only thing missing is an intro by cvnela at the beginning of the movie.
Essentially, my review of this movie be summed up in one meme:
Now I know there are going to be some people who will disagree with me and tell me that I “just don’t understand the movie.” And to that, I bite my thumb at you. My pretentious era ended a long time ago, buddy.
Director: Kyle Edward Bell
Writer(s): Kyle Edward Bell
Starring: Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul, Jaime Hill
Studio: ERO Picture Company
Release Date: February 2, 2023 (Shudder)
Run Time: 1:40
Rated: Not Rated