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Under the Skin

6.31 h 48 min2013X-Ray15
Scarlett Johansson stars in this stunningly depicted sci-fi horror. An alien who has adopted the guise of a beautiful woman roams Glasgow, using her looks to attract men and lure them to an unspeakable fate. 2013
Scarlett JohanssonJeremy McWilliamsLynsey Taylor Mackay
English [CC]
Audio Languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Dougie McConnellKevin McAlindenD MeadeAndrew GormanJoe SzulaKryštof HádekRoy ArmstrongPaul BranniganAdam Pearson
James WilsonNick WechslerWalter Campbell
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.1 out of 5 stars

3322 global ratings

  1. 56% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

chancejogReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 June 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Ignore the one-star ratings!
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This film needs its star rating increased! The one-star raters are, well, ignoramuses. While hauntingly mysterious, there is nothing 'incomprehensible' about this film at all. An alien in human form very gradually becomes humanised and more vulnerable, leading to her destruction. At first 'she' is concerned about the need to 'consume' men in some sort of alien way, with no thought of the consequences (the beach scene for example), then the fascination about people (crowded street scenes), developing empathy (letting the disabled man free), to trying food and sex without success.
Putting an A-list Hollywood star in the title role, driving a transit fan around grubby Scottish streets interacting with little known or non-actors is a brilliant stroke, and the contrast with beautiful Highland scenery. Then there is the gender-bending aspect - at first, 'she' attacks unsuspecting men, by the end she is a terrified assault victim.
Notice all the little touches - the opening sequence and the briefly seen lights in the sky early on, for example. Her aggressive fast-driving motor-bike minders, aware of her transgressions, ultimately fail to find her.
One of the most intelligent thought-provoking sci-fi films ever made, I've seen it 3 (or 4?) times, it gets better each time!
91 people found this helpful
HoustonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 June 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A massive star like Scarlett Johansson driving around in a van
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A massive star like Scarlett Johansson driving around in a van, in Scotland no less, looking for prey, it all feels so out of place. Her presence is a clever device employed in the movie to invoke a feeling in the viewer that something's amiss, and really helps give a sense of the alien perspective the director was aiming for. And that's only one of a myriad of cinematic devices used in this movie to help the viewer start to shift their perceptions and view the familiar from an increasingly alien viewpoint. At some points it's not an easy watch. It manages to mix the mundane setting with the incredibly creepy overtures fairly well. By the end of the movie, ordinary things start to feel very alien indeed. It's a movie that really tries to mess with your perception of reality, and pulls out all the stops to do so. It's a masterpiece that knows what its trying to do, and does it well. But its success in achieving this may be a double edged sword, in that some viewers may not be able to go the whole way in letting the movie subvert their sense of reality, and get less out of it as a result. But for those who are happy to let the movie it do its thing, it's an incredible watch.
34 people found this helpful
leeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 June 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Marmite: if you like Transformers, you will likely hate this.
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IMO: Elements of the essence of classic science fiction. Not big budget Hollywood, but a thought provoking story. Sometimes slow in pace which emphasises the very ordinary setting: everyday life. Observing what it means to be human in a modern society, the main character lures men to their end and by the end attempts to explore (becoming?) what it is to be one of those humans.

Fascinating to watch male behaviour when faced with a beautiful woman chatting them up from a white transit van and again when offered the prospect of sex they are quite willing to enter a derelict house...
If the main character were male chatting up females in these locations, the story wouldn’t have worked!
31 people found this helpful
lucy peelReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 July 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Michel Faber is a brilliant writer (I would recommend 'The book of strange new ...
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I must admit I held back from watching this film for a long time. Michel Faber is a brilliant writer (I would recommend 'The book of strange new things'), and I thought it would be a disservice to him not to read the book first. However, eventually I couldn't resist; therefore I can't compare the two. While the book may have a lot more to offer, however, I think the film holds great value in its own right as a piece of art.
I started the film with the knowledge that it's about an alien in disguise as a human who picks up male hitchhikers, seduces, ensnares and then leads them to their deaths. That is certainly the gist of the film, however I did not expect something nearly so twisted and strange as the tale I was presented with. This is certainly a slow paced film, with many scenes depicting ordinary, everyday life, but the unsettling score kept me riveted to the screen with a tight feeling in the pit of my stomach all the way through. I'm not generally a lover of the dark and deadly, but I could not take my eyes from this film. The protaganist lures you into her world, just as she lures men into her derelict cottage. She captivates the viewer just as strongly as she captivates her victims with her beauty, so that they wade deeper into the black abyss even as it rises up to consume them. At first horrified at her actions, I later began to feel a stirring of empathy. After all, while apparently the monster, in reality she is alone on a strange planet, fending for herself in what is for her an alien environment, forced to disguise her true form. And as the final scene demonstrates, once stripped of her false skin, she is just a vulnerable individual, scared and alone in the forest.
I must admit, a couple of the scenes were very upsetting to watch and for this reason I don't think I could go through the experience again. Certain images will no doubt stick in my mind for a while. However, I could give this no less than 5 stars, it is definitely the most compelling sci-fi horror film I've ever seen.
27 people found this helpful
Chris MorseReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 August 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Emperor's New clothes
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One reviewer has said 'ignore the 1 star reviews'.
Firstly, it has to be mentioned that the Scottish tourist board did themselves no favours with this film. If it's not raining and bleak, it's at night full of miserable drunks... And of course rapists. I don't think anyone will be queuing to go there.
I read the film cost 8 million to make... What was the money spent on. I mean Scarlett Johansson must have been laughing all the way to the bank.
In this shot Scarlett we want you to look board and walk across a beach.
In this shot Scarlett we want you to look board and walk across a road.
In this shot Scarlett we want you to look board and walk across a wood.
Etc etc.
The film quality is poor. No point at all getting it on Blu-ray. Sound is almost non existent.
I repeat, what was the 8 million spent on?
The actual story is poor too.
It's like someone decided to mix Species with the last 10 minutes of 2001 a space Odyssey. But come up with something a lot more boring.
I'm amazed I managed to stay with the film. There's only so much you can watch a woman driving around in a van at night having the occasional 30 second conversation with almost incomprehensible Scottish men.
The 1 star reviews are there for a reason.
It's not a good film.
11 people found this helpful
Occasional ThinkerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Dire beyond all imagining. Utter junk.
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Based, loosely to say the ultra-least, on a decently written book, this movie ignores the book almost completely. Instead of an engaging tale set in the Highlands, we get incoherent, pointless, fusionless, luvvie drivel set in the lowlands. My goodness the director and scriptwriter must have been addled with who knows what chemicals when they put this together. Such a shame. The book's author must have been mortified.
10 people found this helpful
F.T.FReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 June 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Plain awful minimalist nonsence.
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Lets start with the negatives:
This is just plain awful minimalist nonsence... A thoroughly non-eventful load of WTF! Aka scifi Without The Fi.
Very long moments of nothing. The entire story is really a short that could be 15 mins.
And absolutely no point to the whole idea.
I had to fast forward to sections where something seemed to be happening but was utterly disappointed. Nothing!

This film would have done well in the late 60s early 70s. Bizzar detatched scenes interspersed with very odd sets and designs which actually don't tally with the other aspects of the film.
Splaches of psychadelica LSD inspired weird visuals. Bold designs of a black gooey decomposing chamber with digestive tracts that look like a red conveyer belt built by 1st year art students.
Very interesting moment when the decomposed body of a victim has the entirety of their internal substance vacuumed out of him, leaving just the skin floating in the gooey digestive liquid.
Similar unique alien idea of wearing a human skin form but is featureless underneath. Hence the title.
Very nice scenic shots of Scotland, could have been used for a different and better film. One star for that.
Not a good film.
3 people found this helpful
Creepy Pasta KittyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 December 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Holy crap! Did you know Scarlett Johansson stars in this film!?
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Ok, so I got this film as I liked the premise, and I've not seen any of Scarlett's films previously (I think lol) and only found out she starred she starred in this film afterwards via google.

I found this surprising, as I go into a new film blind usually, not looking at reception, budget, etc etc. I don't know what the budget for this film was, but it feels super low budget (not intrinsicly a bad thing) . So if you're a fan of Scarlett, keep that in mind, as I think she's mostly starred in mainstream blockbusters?

This film certainly isn't that, it's no transformers or marvel film.When you think of artsy films, the thing that probably pops into your head is a foreign language film with little known stars. However, whilst this film might not be either of those, it certainly feels like that otherwise.

Ok, so as a quick side note, and another reason this film feels low budget/not like a Hollywood film, some of the character's Scottish accents are so thick, I a British(English specifically) can't understand them XD, though mostly the accents are clear but very strong.

Anyway, getting back. Maybe it's just me being thick, but the film has a lot of scenes that feel like they could be interpretated in several different ways, with no correct answer and has a lot of scenes that just scream out "artsy!".

But that's the main problem with the film for me, I'm just not that into artsy films, but the film feels like it was more focused on being artsy than being a good film. Maybe it's just that it's too different, I don't know, it's certainly very unique, and definitely worth a watch, but yeah, for me, it's fairly enjoyable but feels more like an experimental piece of art than a good film.
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