Thierry has just become acquainted with Claire, and already he is deeply in love with her - even if she has the one characteristic he doesn't like in a woman: very pale skin. Despite Claire's attempts to dissuade him, they are fatally attracted to each other. Thierry is obsessed with her, and his best friend Henri sees him physically and mentally decaying. When Thierry finds out that Claire's sister had tried to kill Henri in a hotel, he realizes he knows very little about her, and about the mysterious genetic laws of heredity. Written by
First of all, I would like to say how regrettable the American title for the movie is. It manages to spoil an important plot point while also being simplistic and misguiding. If it's not already done, try to avoid or forget the tag-line and plot line shown on its IMDb main page. "White Skin", the correct title, is adapted from a dark fantastical (not fantasy) novel by Joel Champetier, a quebecois writer. Two roommates pick up prostitutes in a bar, one of them being a pale skinned redhead and once in their respective rooms, one of the friends gets savagely attacked by the redhead. Months afterwards, the other friend starts becoming strangely fascinated with a red-haired female musician even though he suffers from a long-time phobia of redheads.
This is a low-budget fantastical horror thriller (less than a million dollars) that relies more on story and characters than on special effects to get the viewer involved. I found the story engrossing and well told as the mystery progressively unfolds. The friendship of the roommates was credible and made them likable. I watched it in the original french so cannot comment on the English dubbing but the french dialogues sounded very true and good for modern Quebecois people. If you have stereotypes about Quebec and want to see an accurate and well-shot representation of urban Montreal in winter, rent this film. If there's one thing I found lacking, it was the chemistry between the roommate and the redhead musician. Their relationship is supposed to be not quite right, kinda weird, so it succeeds there but the fascination and "romantic" elements didn't come off strong enough. I would tend to put the blame on the actress playing the redhead musician. Emotionally-wise, especially the expression in her eyes, she was unfortunately lacking even when she wasn't supposed to be cold and distant.
It's a slow build-up after the initial attack but I didn't find it boring in the least. This is a quality dramatic thriller that's more intimate and mysterious than flashy and horrific (although there are a few shocking moments). It shows you don't need a huge budget to make a good genre film provided you have good writing and a talented director. Having read the book previously, I would even say that the adaptation doesn't pale compared to the book and even that the ending of the film is better.
Rating: 6 out of 10
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