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Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | | Drama | 24 June 2005 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

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A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.



(screenplay), (novel)
4,368 ( 70)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Webster ...
Rachael Nastassja Kraft ...
Deborah (age 12) (as Rachael Kraft)
Riley McGuire ...
Ryan Stenzel ...
Larry Marko ...


Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two boys. One can't remember. The other can't forget.




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piel misteriosa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,425 (USA) (6 May 2005)


$697,181 (USA) (29 July 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Sundance Channel Library Print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Each of the youths in the film is based in part on the life of Scott Heim, the book on which the film is based. Scott claims to have seen a UFO with his family, excelled in school, and lived with his single mom after a divorce (like Brian). He announced baseball games (like Neil) and his infatuation with cosmetics and British goth pop made him the subject of death threats (like Eric). See more »


Car approaches traffic signal. Yellow light is a matrix of LEDs, but all yellow traffic lights in 1987 were incandescent bulbs. See more »


[first lines]
Brian: [narration voice-over] The summer I was 8 years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours. Lost. Gone without a trace.
Brian: [narration voice-over] Last thing I remember I was sitting on the bench at my Little League game. It started to rain. What happened after that remains a pitch black void.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Dead Next Door (1989) Film Clip Courtesy of Amsco Studios/Tempe Entertainment See more »


References Space Invaders 91 (1990) See more »


I Could Do Without Her
Composed and Produced by Dag Gabrielsen
Pianist: Alex Lacamoire
See more »

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User Reviews

Rise Like Two Angels In The Night... And Disappear
30 August 2005 | by (Atlanta, United States) – See all my reviews

Araki's newest film takes on a much more subtle note. The darkness of his other films is again apparent and gone are the many bizarre comic reliefs. The movie goes deep deep into story, even to tackle a really hard to watch subject about love and sex between men and little boys.

The story revolves around Niel, how he grew up and had his first climax from seeing another man get off. This lead to a deep interest in the older man, the little league coach and how he seemed to be everything young Niel wanted. Cut to the other main role, Brain, a geeky kid who for some reason, seemed to have had a blackout one day and was believed to have been abducted by space aliens(again an Araki tradition in movies.). his story revolves around his obsession with aliens and how and why and who abducted him in the dark time he's forgotten. Niel found his soul mate Wendy very young and she's since moved to New York to find more to life than living in Kansas with no goal in life. Niel wants to follow her as well since his prostitution to local Joe's at the park has run sour. What he finds about new york however is that with a bigger city, he will have more problems and issues with his Kansas style. Niel's and Brian's path intertwine eventually over something perhaps both of them would like to forget, but should get through it so they can move on with their lives.

The acting in this is Very real, and while at times Niel comes off as cocky, its said by Wendy as "Where normal people have a heart, Niel McCormick has a bottomless black hole. And if you don't watch out you can fall in and get lost forever". There's a few select scenes that seem to go over the top with lewd and violent expressions so try and take heed before watching this. The music was simply amazing. It reminded me some of Endless Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, with very deep and sad music all through it. The movie is very dark and some parts are very depressing, but its worth watching to have everything explained in the end.

Personal bias: I've seen four of Araki's films so far, with Nowhere being my favorite. Araki seems to be able to get some pretty huge stars and put them in roles you wouldn't exactly picture them fitting well in but this really tested main character Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I viewed it alone and with a complete open mind, as its most times required to really soak in the mood of such films. It took me in and really got to me. This style film is definitely meant to look deeper into relationships, and why people are the way they are. The meaning in the end reminded me a lot of Nowhere's with the wish that people could just go to another world like angels, or aliens. Do not look for comedy here but instead a deep meaningful story with some really controversial scenes, but also an amazing musical score, and superb acting.

46 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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