In My Skin

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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Lea Drucker, Thibault de Montalembert
Director: Marina de Van

Bodily harm in movies by means of cutting up people’s skin with various tools such as knifes, saws, axes has always been hard to swallow by most audiences but still somehow they manage to accept it, primarily because there is normally a bad guy doing the damage to a victim. What proves to be hard to stomach is self-inflicted wounds of a gruesome nature captured on film, take VIDEODROME for instance with James Woods, where the star’s obsession with video leads him to inflict some very gruesome wounds on his body. Considering that movies have now entered the era of near pornography in that there need not be a reason for an action as long as the action is explicit and repetitive, I will tell you the tale of Esther who happens to be the heroine of this movie aptly titled IN MY SKIN.

Now without further delay I take you to France where Esther (Marina de Van) is at a party, she decides to go for a walk in the yard in the dark and after tripping on several objects more than once she finally decides to go back indoors where she proceeds to dance with a very responsive man she has met at the party. After a while her female friend pulls her away and suggests that they leave, Esther agrees, but goes to the toilet to freshen up first. She discovers that she has very badly gashed one of her legs but instead of rushing for help she calmly goes out for one more drink with her friends. When she finally gets to a hospital for treatment the doctor questions her behaviour to which she responds that she did not really feel much pain. The doctor stitches her up and advises her to return for the dressing to be changed. Her boyfriend gets very worried as to why she behaved that way but she assures him it was merely shock.

The following day at work she abruptly decides to go into a dark storeroom where she proceeds to rip open her stitches and inflict more injuries to her injured leg with the help of a steel door hinge she finds lying around. It seems that the sight of her wounds and her blood pleases her. Once again her boyfriend is shocked and angry with her, but she promises that it will not happen again even though she has no apparent reason for her behaviour. At a business dinner Esther starts to see one of her lower arms as though it were cut off from her bicep, and this prompts her to stick a knife into it. She excuses herself and tries to hide in the restaurant’s wine cellar so she can cut herself more but some blood is noticed by the staff so she has to leave. She decides to book herself into a hotel room where she proceeds to cut up one of her arms through which she sucks out blood, some bits of flesh and skin. She covers this episode up by making it seem as though she had a car accident. After a while she books herself into another hotel room and proceeds to really cut up herself at various points, suck blood, flesh and tear off skin.

Now I wish I could say that there was more to this film but alas it seems that there was not. It is not made clear whether the wounds had a sexual, cannibalistic, or mental appeal to Esther and as such it is up to you to decide which one suits you the viewer. This was an interesting idea considering the obsession that the world has with the body in this day and age but in this film it is not explored from that viewpoint. All in all this is for fans of gore and quite frankly it is not worth the trip to the cinema at all.

1 out of 6 stars