Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished.
Kyle Edward Ball wrote and directed Skinamarink. It’s one hour and forty minutes of disturbing, nightmarish horror. This is Kyle’s directorial debut.
Skinamarink reminds me of a seventies film. The opening and the eeriness with everything. The film opens with Legos and in the dark. It’s an instant nostalgic reminder for the grown-ups of the world that may or may not have been terrified of the dark. It takes A LOT, A LOT to bother me, and darkness is not one of my fears but there is something creepy about being in the darkness, and it becomes unfamiliar.
Kids and human beings in general should have stability. They should know what is happening in the moment. The cast, Jaime Hill as the mom, Lucas Paul as Kevin, Ross Paul as Dad, and Dali Rose Tetreault as Kaylee did a great job. This is fascinating as a film. There is a phobia called nyctophobia which is a fear of the dark.
There are no monsters, no ghosts, nothing that you can actually see in this movie. It’s that icky, urgent fear of what’s lurking in the dark. The kids wander around in the dark. There is no “villain” in this film although villains don’t technically consider themselves villains. Bad people don’t think they’re bad, they are just living life, and yes they may be doing vile shit but they aren’t walking around calling themselves villains.
This isn’t I big budget film but it gets the point across. It does what it’s supposed to do using sounds, effects, an amazing house. The house is a character within the film. I have always been fascinated by film locations because when you watch a film you may notice a house, gas station, library, an apartment? Some type of location that is captivating.
The apartment in Rosemary’s Baby, the house in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the house and motel in Psycho, the arial view of mountains in so many films. It becomes a character, part of the story that needs to be told. Some of us have lived some of these fears of being left alone or being left in the dark alone. The fact that it plays out and you hear the whispers, the rather creepy old school cartoons. I know some of us remember some of those wild cartoons.
Kyle created something that is fascinating. There have been plenty of horror films about phobias, fears, dreams, life, and more, but they way it’s filmed, and having the kids with no one… it makes your skin crawl a bit. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. You want to sit and watch the movie but I noticed it does make some people uncomfortable.
I’m going back to the unknown feelings, the unknown and what cannot be seen. You hear stuff, there are flashes of light from the television and random lighting. It’s a wild experience, it’s almost like going through a Haunt when you get to a black out room. The creepy little telephone was something else. It was worse than any monster anyone could think of.
Kyle did a great job. I’d be curious to know what other sort of nightmarish visions he has, and could create.
I would recommend checking out Skinamarink.
IFC Midnight and Shudder’s viral sensation ‘SKINAMARINK’ crosses $1 million at the North American box office 6 days into release on partial screens – earning the film an impressive 67X its production budget of 15K.
The debut feature from director Kyle Edward Ball will expand into over 800 theaters this weekend dictated by demand and outpacing all industry estimates.
‘SKINAMARINK’ will stream exclusively on Shudder February 2, 2023.