“I reeeeeally want you to review UNDER THE SKIN for HOUR OF THE WOLF,” Jim Freund said to me a couple of weeks ago. That was good, because I reeeeeeally wanted to review UNDER THE SKIN, but constraints — both on time and finances — meant that I needed a good reason to get to it. Since we were committed to reviewing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER — an okay film, but not really more than that — on the CINEFANTASTIQUE SPOTLIGHT the week UNDER THE SKIN was debuting, Jim’s advocacy was just the motivation I required.
So let it be noted, in case you had any doubt, that this confirms Jim Freund’s status as a fighter on the side of the angels. I’ve had a cautious relationship with UNDER THE SKIN director Jonathan Glazer — I felt SEXY BEAST was good but overrated, and BIRTH was… odd — but there’s no such caution here. In telling the tale of an alien predator who takes the form of Scarlett Johansson and stalks the highways of Scotland, Glazer seems to have found the perfect stage for his restrained approach to storytelling. After having to sit through the dreary slog that was OCULUS, seeing something this daring, this entrancing, was just what I needed to restore my own, personal “Sense of Wonder.” Click on the player to hear my review.