We have a long way to go in 2023, but Skinamarink is already a top contender for the year’s most frightening film.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Little White Lies by Anton Bitel
A child’s anxieties about what might be under the bed or in the shadows are also precisely those primal fears that fuel horror, ensuring that, with all its obfuscations, evasions and abstractions, Skinamarink strips the genre down to its most basic elements: a vulnerable individual alone in the dark.
Skinamarink is confidently made, and certain upside-down images are especially creepy, but its spell is broken by its sheer, ungodly slowness, which springs from a paucity of ideas.
While Skinamarink is rather devious for how it lulls viewers into an uneasy stupor — Ball’s esoteric design and go-nowhere pace lower your guard just long enough for him to slip a couple of insidious jolts past your defenses — the film’s somnambulant rhythms soon become as static as its backdrops, and long stretches of naked ambiance separate the spine-tingling setpieces.
Skinamarink is an experience of warped mundanity, dreary moods, and repressed paranoias most prevalent in our youths, which Ball recreates with alarming intimacy. We often seek comfort in feeling like kids again, but in this case, Ball presents a monkey's paw solution brimming with supreme juvenile terrorization.
Austin Chronicle by Richard Whittaker
The pat defense is that Skinamarink is not for conventional horror audiences, and that's obvious, but at the same time it feels overextended as a conceptual piece.