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Under the Skin (2013)
Don't expect the depth of the novel...
Usually reading the book beforehand spoils the film version, but I think on this occasion without having some idea of the premise beforehand, the film adaptation would be too obscure and off-putting for most viewers. The opening indicates there's something different about the main character, and the ending shows there definitely is, but the idea of it being an alien isn't particularly obvious - there's no cheesy flying saucers, unusual languages or any real interactions with others of the species throughout the whole film.
As most viewers have pointed out, the dialogue is minimal throughout the entire film, and very few 'action scenes' in the traditional sense. To some extent it felt very clinical and maybe a little boring to watch at some points, but this is almost certainly on purpose to try to encourage the viewer to view the human world as the main character does. Shopping, people walking around the town, even the beach scene, are looked at very distantly and without any excitement or emotion, just as the main character would view them.
Glad I finally found somewhere showing it as I doubt it will be picked up as a mainstream movie. I saw one couple leave midway at the beach scene, but other than that the audience seemed to stick with it to see how it progressed more than anything else. Scenes which stuck with me though the day after were seeing what happened to one of the male victims in the black tar / preservative (although it still might not be that clear to anyone without a rough idea of the book), the soundtrack which reflected the scenes perfectly, and the pretty sad ending which would have felt pretty barbaric if it had been a human.
I would probably recommend making the effort to see it if you can find anywhere nearby which is showing it, either read the original novel or plan to, and are willing to go into the film with a fairly open mind. I can see though why it probably won't appeal to many and sadly won't be much of a success unless it finds a niche market.
One Missed Call (2008)
Milking the Asian Horror cash-cow...
A spirit leaves a voice mail on a mobile with a recording of the owner's future last words and death; when that person dies, their telephone mysteriously dials someone else in their address book and the pattern continues ad nauseum. That's the basic premise of the movie, with the main character and her local police officer trying to find the original caller before her own time is up.
The first thing that came to mind after leaving the cinema was 'How many more of these Asian horror remakes are they going to try to reproduce?'. We've already had 'The Ring' and 'The Ring 2', 'Dark Water' and 'The Grudge', with 'Shutter' and 'The Eye' due out in the U.K. within the next month. While the original versions probably had their good points - mostly that they were original - I couldn't help but feel U.S. studios were starting to milk this cash-cow a bit too much. The cinematography and tone of all the films are virtually identical, all with a similar ending of some malevolent troubled spirit tormenting people from beyond the grave. As such, the films is more than slow in parts - I sneaked out for the loo halfway through - came back and had missed nothing at all.
There's no gore - it's a 15 rating in the UK - but very little suspense either, with the death scenes reminding me a little of those in the 'Final Destination' series, except that you can see them coming a mile off. As I said, the ending doesn't really make up for it either - with some irrelevant story of the spirit of an abusive sister responsible for the calls - and then some predictable 'twist' where, when you think the whole thing is over, the eerie ring tone starts again.
As Saturday night, teenage horror fodder, you could do a lot worse - and it's all down to personal taste - but I'd have rather spent the six quid on something else.