Skip to main content
Under the Skin film image

Under the Skin

This event has passed

The most radical, underground movie to creep into the mainstream in some time, Jonathan Glazer’s first since Birth might have been called “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”. That woman is Scarlett Johansson, simultaneously deglamourized and highly sexualized. In a mesmerically choreographed series of incidents she picks up random men and leads them to their doom. It’s a dispassionate, alien-ated view of sexual attraction and human connection, and unlike anything you have seen before.

What on Earth, or off it, should we make of all this? Well, the film certainly forces us to think again about what’s really inside us – what makes us human, beyond blood, bones, nerves and meat. And there are muddy hints, in the changing responses of Johansson’s character to the people around her, that she is slowly taking on some of their qualities: empathy, cautiousness and a curiosity about the human body that runs beyond whether it’s best served fried or steamed. Or perhaps the film functions as a kind of pH test for humanness: as you feel the film needling away at your soul, you can at least be reassured that you probably have one to needle. There are, of course, no easy answers, although amid its scorching, fractured images, there is one certainty, brought into crisp focus. This is, very simply and straightforwardly, a masterpiece.

Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph

It sure as hell got under mine. Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi horror is loosely adapted, or atmospherically distilled, by Walter Campbell from the 2000 novel by Michel Faber. The result is visually stunning and deeply disturbing: very freaky, very scary and very erotic.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


Jonathan Glazer


Scarlett Johansson, D. Meade, Dougie McConnell, Jeremy McWilliams, Kevin McAlinden, Lynsey Taylor Mackay

Country of Origin






108 min

Book Tickets

This event has passed.



Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer


Daniel Landin


Paul Watts

Original Music

Mica Levi

Production Design

Chris Oddy

Art Director

Emer O’Sullivan

Also Playing

Chicken For Linda!

Husband and wife duo Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach (The Girl Without Hands) evoke the freewheeling farcical slapstick spirit of Jacques Tati and the palette of Henri Matisse in this sparkling animated gem for all ages.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre

Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World

Radu Jude takes two days in the life of a stressed Romanian p.a. and gives us an urgent, pissed off, sourly funny polemic on the state of late capitalism. Exploitation, discrimination and hypocrisy are his targets; dialectics are his dynamite.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Before I Change My Mind

Trevor Anderson's coming of age movie -- set in Edmonton, 1987 -- slyly subverts expectations, embracing complexity and contradiction in its nuanced take on fledgling identities, while delivering laugh-out-loud moments and big emotional showdowns.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre

A Matter of Life and Death

In this splendid WWII fantasy, RAF pilot Peter (David Niven) cheats death when his plane is downed over the Channel. Washing up on an English beach, he must plead his case for a life extension in the highest court of them all...

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre