Movie Review: Skinamarink (2023)

Now in theatres.

Welcome to the latest horror movie escape room: unfortunately it may provoke in even the most patient viewers an unwavering desire for that final moment of freedom through the multiplex exit door. A triumph of sustained, unblinking mood and atmosphere with an equally confounding sense of storytelling, Kyle Edward Ball’s little suspense movie that could, Skinamarink (C+) is an admirable micro budgeted cult curiosity. It feels like an art project brought to life as two largely off-camera preschoolers roam their house in the middle of the night, whispering (with necessary subtitles) about missing parents, noting vanished windows and observing their toys are moving on their own to the soundscape of diabolical public domain cartoons. It’s likely the first found footage genre film to showcase such an ambitious unfinished Lego project or highlight how many low budget ways filmmakers can show a toilet disappear. Ball employs an intriguing grainy film stock to invoke a sort-of 1995 with some creepy objects and angles and a few choice “audio jump scares” in what is otherwise the very definition of a slow burn. Yes, the movie was evidently made for $15,000, but the subtitles required more proofreading and the TV sets needed frame rate adjustment. The story doesn’t sufficiently reveal themes or intentions; and although the ambiguity may stoke some viewers’ imaginations, it will leave many shaking their heads and some saying, “Hey, Blair Witch, hold my juice box.”

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