Only so many mistakes can be made in a film before you begin to question the production. A film can have a bad cinematographer and still get by, just like bad actors or a director can hurt, but maybe not sink a film. However, when everything is handled poorly it is hard to make excuses for why the film doesn’t work. It has been said many times that at the heart of every “so bad it’s good” movie is a person with a vision that cares about the production. Evil Under the Skin reeks of a production that was cobbled together by a team that couldn’t care less.
After her daughter has split ties with her awful boyfriend, Carla is hoping to make up for lost time at a shore side cabin. While the weather is wonderful and the lake is beautiful, Carla can’t help but shake the feeling that something is off about the cabin. She begins to suffer from horrible migraines, forgetfulness, and visions of awful things happening. As they become more frequent and more bizarre, she also starts to notice a door upstairs that won’t open. What could the source of these awful headaches be and what is the home hiding beyond its locked doors?
Where the more technical aspects of a film are the most common trip falls in directors that are just starting off, these shouldn’t be happening to anyone on their third feature. Color timing your scenes, as well as shot composition, set the mood and tone of your film and if those are off there is an immediate sense of inexperience in film. Those would be bad enough but Evil Under the Skin double downs with some of the messiest editing I’ve ever experienced. A shot of two characters talking with cut back and forth between two different angles multiple times in the same short conversation creating an almost dizzying scene.
That being said a movie can be technically a complete mess but still have a somewhat interesting story or a character to enjoy. Evil Under the Skin would beg to differ with a story that barely exists and far too many needless characters, each of which has their own subplots that go nowhere. These would be forgivable if any of them were slightly interesting. Even the main story forgets that it hasn’t been creating a coherent narrative and uses the last 15 minutes to create one to have some level of a wrap-up. Until the last 10 minutes, I genuinely thought the film was going to end with no antagonist, challenge to overcome, or conclusion.
The worst thing a film can ever do is make you feel like it wasted your time. Whether it invited you in with an attention-grabbing tag line or a stellar looking cover, you end up feeling like you were tricked into watching someones shallow attempt at a movie. While I knew nothing about Evil Under the Skin going in, I have left having experienced nothing new or interesting and instead, I feel like I have been stripped of some my time on this earth.
1 out of 10