Starring: Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul, Jaime Hill
Director: Kyle Edward Ball
Skinamarink is more of a movie of atmosphere than of plot, and for that reason, it will not be for everybody. That said, for the true micro-budget horror heads out there, it's a quietly small miracle of theatrical distribution and filmmaking. The first twenty minutes are rather slow as the film builds ambiance, but once a knife is mentioned, the tension holds to the very end. It may very well terrify those who vividly remember dark nights in 90s homes with shag carpet and wood paneling. Director Kyle Edward Ball should be proud of what he achieved here.
I’ll never fault someone for taking risks, but director Kyle Edward Ball's Skinamarink certainly brings mixed results. There are positives to be found, mostly a Super 8 film approach that works wonders, and Ball is great at using minimalist filmmaking to find tension. Unfortunately, this style also leads to moments that feel long and drawn out, which would have been overcome by a shortened runtime. This film requires a lot of patience from its viewer and it’s certainly not for everyone, but it did succeed in creating an eerie vibe and giving me one of the better scares I’ve had in some time.
If ever a movie could be best described as “a vibe” it would be Skinamarink. It’s a mixed bag of sorts that I wish delivered more heavily on scares, but, that being said, I can’t turn off the lights without thinking about it. TikTok may have oversold it a bit as it’s not for everyone, but it’s a great example of how to capture a mood and force an audience into discomfort. It’s worth a watch, but be warned, it’s highly experimental.
This film was originally reviewed by Nick as part of Bitesize Breakdown’s coverage of 2022’s Fantasia International Film Festival.