Kylie Winters, a bullied and self-loathing teen, reluctantly agrees to babysit at an isolated country mansion on Halloween night. When a small boy in a pig mask appears at the door ... See full summary »
The Seasoning House: where young girls are prostituted to the military. An orphaned deaf mute is enslaved to care for them. She moves between the walls and crawlspaces, showing the little kindnesses when she can. When fate brings the men that murdered her family and the reason she ended up in the whore house, a chain of events begins that will end her captivity, free the girls still alive in the ... See full summary »
Anna suffers from agoraphobia so crippling that when a trio of criminals break into her house, she cannot bring herself to flee. But what the intruders don't realize is that agoraphobia is not her only problem.
Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.
After the accidental death of their six-year-old daughter, the Hughes family escape their busy upscale suburban life and head to their isolated cottage for some quality time. An evening with their friendly neighbors is suddenly interrupted when one mans obsession with perfection escalates into a violent struggle, forcing the families to go beyond what they ever thought they were capable of in order to survive. Written by
Suspenseful first act followed by a lackluster finale sapped by miscasting
"In Their Skin" follows a fairly common premise among post-millennial horror films: a family vacationing in a remote summer home find themselves trapped and preyed upon by a group of killers. Here, the family is an unsuspecting wealthy couple who has just lost one of their two children; playing counterpart is another family who yearns to live as them.
While the central premise of the film is certainly straightforward and unoriginal (comparisons to "Funny Games" and "The Strangers" are inevitable), the spin here with the antagonists attempting to simulate lives of opulence and wealth is certainly different; the problem is that this central difference does not necessarily elevate the film's other shortcomings.
Things start out fairly standard, and suspense is built tenaciously over the first forty-five minutes to an hour quite impressively. The problem? It disappears once the antagonists take full hold. This could partly be a scripting issue that leaves the film feeling uneven, but it's also an issue of performances as good as James D'Arcy is, I had trouble believing him in this role, especially as the film progressed; Joshua Close's performance was slightly more believable, but even still, both of the male leads seemed miscast. Selma Blair and Rachel Miner however both work really well in the film; Miner is especially phenomenal here. The film ends with the suggestion of a family restored, but the details of the horrendous events that precede it seem undercooked by the end.
Overall, "In Their Skin" is an unusual mashup of home invasion thriller conventions with vague social commentary and a problematic chemistry among the cast. The first half of the film is remarkable in building a sense of realistic suspense, but the film dovetails into mediocrity once the villains take charge. While not a bad film by any means, it still leaves a great deal to be desired in terms of scripting and casting. Worth a watch for the moody cinematography and applause-worthy buildup of tension no less. 5/10.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?