Under the Skin Analysis
Here are a few things I took away from the film “Under the Skin.” I will not be discussing some of the social commentary the film presents because I believe it is up to the audience to figure those things out on their own. A film is meant to be interpreted by different people in different ways, so I will not be telling you what the film means.
UNDER THE SKIN:
In Scotland, a motorcyclist retrieves a young woman’s body from the side of a road and places her in the back of a van. In a featureless white void, a naked woman strips the woman and dons her clothes.
The woman drives the van around Scotland, picking up men on the street. She brings them to her apartment — a black, featureless void — where the men follow her into darkness and find themselves submerged in an abyss of liquid. Their bodies vanish, leaving empty skins behind, and their innards are sucked away into a distant red light.
At a beach, the woman attempts to pick up a male swimmer. He tries to save a drowning couple, but almost drowns himself. Ignoring the cries of the couple’s infant son, the woman strikes the swimmer’s head with a rock, drags him to the van, and drives away. The motorcyclist retrieves the male swimmer’s belongings and abandons the child.
After the woman seduces a lonely, sexually inexperienced man with facial neurofibromatosis disfigurement, she allows him to escape and flees to the Scottish highlands. The motorcyclist intercepts the man and bundles him into a car, then sets out across Scotland in pursuit of the woman.
The woman goes to a restaurant and attempts to eat cake, but gags and spits it out. At a bus stop, she meets a man who brings her home, cooks her dinner, and gives her a room. She examines her naked body in a mirror. She visits a ruined castle with her companion and they kiss. At his house, they begin to make love, but she stops and apparently examines her vagina, alarmed.
Wandering in a forest, the woman takes shelter in a bothy. She is awakened by a commercial logger who attempts to rape her. In the struggle, he tears skin from her back, revealing a black, featureless body beneath. She extricates herself from her superficial skin and attempts to run, but the logger douses her in petrol and sets her on fire. Her ashes coil into the sky.
Under the Skin