I like a good horror movie, but there aren’t many these days. It’s mostly just churned-out crap made by directors who think a jump scare makes it a horror movie. Skinamarink is something very different though.

Skinamarink is written and directed by Kyle Edward Ball. There’s no point in listing the cast, you never actually see anyone. It’s only really voices and glimpses of people. This doesn’t take away what the actors did though. It’s just that the script is probably only about 50-odd words, the rest of the “experience” is about the audio and footage.

I saw that this movie was described as an “experimental horror” and “open to interpretation” by the director. This really got me interested in watching it. The basics of the movie are:

“Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished.”

To be honest, it’s difficult to expand on this as that is pretty much all that happens. It’s the way that it happens that is important. Before you go on reading, this movie is like nothing I’ve seen before. It really is very “experimental” and it was a hard movie to watch.

Every shot is wrong, every angle is wrong, and every camera placement is wrong. None of this should work, but it does. I would say it’s very much in the style of Eraserhead if it were directed by Panos Cosmatos.


There are shots that feel like they are from a security camera that’s not quite pointing in the right direction and only picking up the sound. This made Skinamarink very, very creepy in places.

Also, the entire movie is shot at night, meaning the camera struggles to see anything. You know when you watch old video footage and they have to pull up the brightness just to try and see anything? But there’s nothing there to see, this movie is like that a lot.

You know the old horror movie trope, where you know you’re going to get a jump scare because everything goes quiet… and you’re just waiting for that blast of music? It’s like that in every scene because of the way it is shot. It always feels like a jump scare is coming, but then it doesn’t, so you just stay on the edge of your seat for the whole movie.


The director has said that the movie is open to interpretation and I have watched a couple of videos about it, seeing other people’s takes on it. There are some I like and some that don’t make sense, but it’s great that everyone has their own view.

Skinamarink is a hard movie to watch and it’s certainly not going to be for everyone. I imagine some people watching this and just moaning that nothing is going on, but that’s the point. This isn’t a “bunch of kids in the woods/cabin/mansion” type of movie. This makes you work while watching it.

Again, I know a lot of people will not bother with it for that reason. If you look at Skinamarink as a piece of entertainment, you’ll be disappointed. If you look at it as a piece of “art”, you might like it. I know that sounds pretentious, but this isn’t an ordinary movie.

The greatest triumph of the movie is the sound. It’s like an attack on your senses at some points and you are straining to hear what is going on, but the visuals don’t let you put two and two together.

The only other time I’ve heard sound effects put to this good use was in The Haunting (1963), one of my all-time favorite movies. There are a couple of scenes that are just played out with sounds and they still give me goosebumps.

Skinamarink is the same thing. Very subtle scenes, with audio that seems to somehow scare you. There are a couple of “jump scares”, but they are subtle, without a big crash of music. I will never look at a toy telephone again in the same way.

As I say, this movie is not for everyone and I can imagine some people finding it utterly boring, but if you’re looking for something new, something that gets the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, then I highly recommend it.


It runs for 100 minutes, which I felt was too long and, because of that I don’t know if I could sit through it again, but I’m glad I watched it. I will think about it repeatedly for a while.

I give Skinamarink a high score, that’s for the art of the movie. I am glad to see something new. If you want something different from your horror, give it a try.

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