Directed by Ezra Tsegaye | Review by Moumita Deb
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ometimes real life doesn’t follow a perfect structure. Things aren’t always wrapped up and resolved how you’d like them to be and all of us at times prefer leaving things open-ended.
From its demonic possession storyline to its found-footage format, Skin Creepers is nothing horror film aficionados haven’t seen before and can well connect with the conspicuous ad nauseam throughout the 1 hr 27 mins journey. But despite its overwhelmingly stale air of familiarity, this feature by Ezra Tsegaye manages to impress thanks to its technical expertise and the compelling performance by Nicolás Artajo and Barbara Prakopenka in the lead roles.
Like certain prescription drugs and amusement park rides, the movie should come with a warning label for some ghastly yet gripping moments of sheer horror. It’s a dark, gruesome plot about the actress being possessed by the devil entrapped in the hotel room wall portrait, is certain to cause some nightmares, pushing the boundaries of taste in the process. Despite its subtlety – the gore and exploitive elements being relatively low-keyed – “Skin Creepers” is out and out a “furrowed brow” movie. Evil with monstrous force, creeping into a new skin every time, intensifies the well-knit plot. Content is assuredly designed to disturb and provoke a response. Its primary modus operandi for generating cringes is, of course, the uncanny feeling of its ominous presence and smears a general sense of discomfort across the film, and broods over her malign faith conjuring up weird images of blood-curdling fright.
The writing is sharp, the premise is unique, and the performances are spot on. What begins as an awkward search of two unsuccessful filmmakers quickly becomes a haunting, slow burn of a film that will keep you on your toes from start to finish.
Play of light and shadow is both immersive and unsettling. The film also boasts one of the most iconic performances in this genre’s history in the immortal portrayal of Sasha Blue.
Overall the directing of the movie is excellent, all the pieces fit together well and you understand the story. A lot of horror films fail in the directing as things are mismatched and no one knows what it is going on. A very well told story that develops into lots of thrills and scares.
I think you have to give the filmmakers a lot of credit for tackling a familiar sub-genre and being able to make it work without resorting to cheap, loud noise scares that seem to be attached to all horror movies nowadays.
Barbara Prakopenka is terrific in her bit as the young actor who finds herself falling apart. The limited special effects are good for what they are, but we also get an incredibly effective music score. I didn’t care for some of the style given to the film including the fast cuts to a black screen, but this was just a minor issue. Still, Skin Creepers gives a shot of energy to a genre that has so far delivered a trove of memorable movies one after another.
Landuris is impressive in the pivotal creepy role. If you’re a fan of the genre you’ll probably get a big kick out of its style and the enormous promise it makes with the material it experiments on.
It is an incredibly well done, intricately put together and thoroughly thought out the movie! It is about what’d you expect and quite a bit more too! Even so, there’s plenty of character building, maturing of the plot, and overall depth throughout the movie.
Also, the movie is very atmospheric and while similar sounds and feels are repeated throughout, this simplicity only strengthens the tension and depth of the movie.
A movie where the character randomly blacks out and wakes up in the dark only to discover she’s there because a spirit has taken control of her mind, therefore her reality. A possession movie that makes the demon, two-sided, gives it a reason for the evil, or maybe have the demon feel connected with the character. The film offers a wide spectrum of avenues for experimentation in the predominantly horror genre.
A film that generates a fair amount of suspense during sizable swaths of its familiar but serviceable exorcism-centric scenario is home to moments that will shock, scare, disturb, and leave you gasping. It’s after all a trip to the dark world that’s well worth taking.”
Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking.