Originally titled Replicas (which make it sound like a sci-fi thriller), In Their Skin is sort of a cross between Funny Games and Single White Female. The story is pretty standard issue these days, bringing not much new to the genre. However, it's beautifully shot (cinematographer Norm Li, who also did stellar work on Beyond the Black Rainbow, seriously deserves an award. Just beautiful lighting, composition, angles, moves, and reveals). The music is perfect, the sets and locations are lovely, and the acting is top notch. In a way, it's a shame to see so much effort being put into such a tired scenario. Then again, it's what makes the film worth watching.
And it is worth watching. There's more than a few squirm-inducing moments of suspense, some great shocks and surprises, not to mention the requisite twists and turns.
Right away, we meet Mark (Joshua Close), Mary (Selma Blair) and their son Jared (Quinn Lord). They are ultra-rich — their cabin in the woods looks like the Taj Mahal — but money can't buy back the life of the youngest child, who was recently killed in a car accident. They're trying to get through it, but not doing well, and so a long escape weekend in their vacation home seems to be the best thing to do. No sooner to do they arrive, than does another family: Bobby (James D'Arcy), Jane (Rachel Miner), and their youngster Jared (Alex Ferris). New neighbors converge, merge, collide, separate, stalk, and kill.
While we can see everything coming from a mile away, director Jeremy Power Regimbal does a great job with Close's screenplay (yep, he's the good dad in the movie). He knows how to bring out the best, most intense performances from his cast and he also shows great ability in making you think you saw more than you did (a 'rape scene' for example, in which there is no nudity or actual penetration, is more skeevy than most-anything you'll see that is of a more graphic nature).
Unlike, say Funny Games or Single White Female, In Their Skin doesn't beg revisiting. There isn't quite enough nuance or subtext or even just balls-out craziness, to make me want to see it again. But I liked it enough to recommend you see it, once.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson