108 minutes | MPAA rating: R
Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” moves like molasses and is astonishingly stingy when it comes to explaining itself…yet there’s something compelling about this challenging, maddening experience you can’t quite shake.
One big thing it has going for it is Scarlett Johansson, weirdly fascinating as a young woman who drives around Glasgow, Scotland, trying to initiate conversations with young men. It’s not that the actress has to show a lot of range here…but she is Lady Scarlett, one of the most watchable movie stars we’ve got.
Johansson’s character hasn’t a name. She seems utterly without emotion…although when confronted with a specimen of thick Scottish manhood she seems to know just what buttons to push — quiet and circumspect with some fellas, more aggressive with others.
When one of these young oafs gets into her vehicle with a bit of action on his mind, she drives him to an abandoned building where both disrobe and she leads him into a pool of black, viscous stuff that sucks him up.
Clearly, our girl is not of this world. Is she killing these lunks? Storing them for a food supply?
Expect no answers.
She drives around in a white panel van (apparently the vehicle of choice of serial killers throughout the galaxy) and frequently interacts with a silent man in cycle leathers who rides a bike and abets our heroine, though what exactly he’s doing is never explained.