Director:Kyle Edward Ball
Starring: Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul,Jaime Hill .Canada. 1h 40m
Every now and again a director comes from left field and reminds us that new things are still possible, which is what Kyle Edward Ball has done with his tour de force trippy horror which is causing major ripples in the horror community. To say it appeared from nowhere is far from the truth, it was by no means an accident, through several years of making short movies depicting people’s most vivid nightmare, eventually Ball was able to gather all of that experience and forge together Skinamarink, an almost indescribable horror movie that digs deep into the childhood memories of the audience and eliminates another darker aspect of the Liminal space genre.
In This House…
Opening with a phone call the emergency services, a worried father explains how his son has fallen downstairs but he’s doing okay, didn’t even need any stitches, then two children awake at home alone, but there’s no windows or doors to their home but they make do and attempt to get on with their usual morning routine in the dark until strange phenomena begin to happen in their home.
The cinematography and techniques in storytelling are so very different in Skinamarink, Ball waves his camera around the ceiling, turns the world upside down in the gloomy home of these poor little lost souls, zooming in on the TV or a cereal bowl until something happens like a chair suddenly appearing on the ceiling of the home, then the unsettling visuals begin to take over.
It feels so familiar, the retro toys, the gloomy lit room of a stereotypical household will drag an audience back to happier times getting up on a saturday morning to watch some TV and eat sugary snacks, but there’s nothing happy happening here in the fuzzy darkness, and it only gets worse and the movie progresses and the siblings being to part ways in a disturbing way. The young boy becomes a focal point, trying to call the police for help, attempting to communicate with an entity in the darkness, while watching the world around him clip in and out of existence.
“maybe he went with mom”
With so much attention to the details and with so much experience with dealing with people’s innermost disturbing nightmares, Bell has a talent of sneaking up on you and laying seeds of fear his audience will no doubt feel intense fear and dread before they realize what’s going on. Another magical aspect is that without much serious dialogue and pounding the narrative home at every step, you do have to start to use all your senses to feel what’s happening.
For such a highly experimental movie, it’s pleasing to see that it’s winning over horror fans, especially those looking for something new. Having a totally new cinema experience with zero tropes is refreshing and only happens once in a blue moon, however make sure you check out the nightmare shorts on Bells YouTube channel.
Related: Wavelength (1967),
Lists: Gamechanger Horrors Vol 1
One thought on “Skinamarink (2022)”
A friend reminded me that the film was made for $15,000 – he filmed it in his childhood home. Bravo to everyone involved for finding a way to tell a story – and seeing it resonate! Great review by the way as always!