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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.76%
Worth A Look41.18%
Just Average: 5.88%
Pretty Crappy: 0%

2 reviews, 5 user ratings

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In My Skin
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by Dr Nick

"cut!, Cut!, CUT!!"
1 stars

TO BE SCREENED AT THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: This is a very strange film. Dark, uncompromising and deeply disturbing, it's also very boring. Marina de Van's feature debut about a deranged, young business woman who develops an unhealthy interest in self-mutilation is high in shock value. Focusing on the act and physical result of self-mutilation rather than the reasons behind it, this is a film that is guaranteed to disgust the most hardened souls out there.

Esther, a young market researcher, accidentally cuts her leg at a party one night. When she feels no pain, she becomes fascinated by the wound and starts cutting herself. Unfortunately for Esther, her timing for getting into extreme self-mutilation couldnít have been worse. She has just been promoted at work, is looking to buy a house with her boyfriend and things are generally looking pretty good in her life. But, with this new obsession in her life, her priorities change drastically. Iím telling you, itís not pretty. Nope, just 90 minutes of a strange woman cutting and chewing off big chunks of her body.

I donít understand what Marina de Van (writer, director and star) is trying to say with this film. There seems to be no purpose behind any of it. We are never offered an explanation or justification for Estherís actions. There is no back-story of abuse or neglect of her character. She just decides to start cutting herself one day. Also, she is not portrayed as a very nice person, so we are never offered the chance to feel sorry for her, just disgust at the images of what she is putting herself through.

What little plot there was initially is left behind, giving room for endless repetitions of gore-filled scenes of self-mutilation. The explicitness of these scenes is fascinating at first, but when the initial curiosity wears off, there is really nothing of interest left to watch. The film quickly becomes repetitive and very boring.

David Cronenberg explored the fascination of scars and the issue of self-mutilation much more successfully in "Crash." Even though it was disturbing to watch, at least he offered us some explanation with the fact that his characters got some pleasure out of it. De Van does not seem interested in justifying Estherís actions. This makes the film frustrating and hard to watch. Itís hard to relate to a character who goes to such extremes for apparently no reason, ruining the lives of people around her as well as her own. She doesnít get anything out of cutting herself. There seems to be no pleasure involved, just a bizarre fascination with the taste and feel of her torn skin.

It might be a bold, brave and realistic depiction of the world of self-mutilation, but interesting viewing or even a good film? Not really.

A boring, bloody mess of a film.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8037&reviewer=345
originally posted: 07/23/03 07:34:56
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/06/05 MyGreenBed Doesn't seem to have a point, isn't provocative, no ending, but yet nice to watch in a way. 3 stars
12/04/04 K. Sear Compelling and in some ways disgusting. An intersting film. 4 stars
4/12/04 Sirus its good to know that somone has the guts to write what they feel and to express them selfs 5 stars
8/25/03 AT it's the carnivore version of SAFE. A masterpiece. 5 stars
8/10/03 Natasha Jones The worst movie I have ever seen!! I regret not walking out! 1 stars
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  DVD: 20-Apr-2004



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