Under the Skin

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.0

An unnamed woman (Scarlett Johansson) drives around Scotland picking up men, chatting them up and then luring them to a location where they voluntarily strip (hoping for sex) only to be trapped in black ooze. Fairly obvious as a sci-fi movie from the get-go - Johansson is an alien temptress who collects human flesh for her other alien compadres to use for cover - it is stylistically on point (Glazer is an accomplished music video/commercial director) but substantially hollow. Glazer strips the Michel Faber book of its richness (and commentary on human consumption as well as fellow-feeling) and leaves a bare-bones tale of a pretty woman trapping horny men: when she encounters a severely deformed man and, instead of killing him, saves him, it's the start of her downfall ... except since the Johansson character doesn't speak much (and her character has no internal monologue) it's unclear why she suddenly felt pity or, overall, what kind of inner conflict she experiences when she realizes she can't be fully 'human' herself. Like Beyond the Black Rainbow, this is a glossy bauble.