Notable Cast: Selma Blair, Joshua Close, Rachel Miner, James D'Arcy
Home invasion films are getting to be a dime a dozen these days, whether it be more of a thriller or horror style, and by now it's getting harder to impress me. Had I seen "In Their Skin" even five years ago I would have thought it daring and tense. At this point, the film struck me as sluggish with a small portion of 'trying too hard' to go with it. The home invasion genre is just a little over-saturated with run of the mill features and "In Their Skin" comes off as simply one of the pack.
Mark (Close) and Mary (Blair) are struggling with their marriage. The untimely death of their young daughter has taken its toll on the whole family, so the couple and their young son head up to a family cabin to reconnect. The odd neighbor family seems to be a little too friendly when they arrive. A little too inquisitive. A little too forceful....
|It's a bad day when you find yourself like this...|
Secondly, "In Their Skin" has great atmosphere. The initial build, ripe with the awkward marriage issues, sets up a somber tone that only deepens as the film goes. Director Jeremy Regimbal cakes the film with a 70s aura of long static shots and lots of subtle character work (allowing the actors to do their best) and comparisons to the original "Straw Dogs" or the like could be made in this approach. Which, of course, is quite the compliment overall. Particularly from anyone who loves that older style of film making.
|"I said I wanted Cooler Ranch Doritos, but Salsa Verde ones."|
So in the end "In Their Skin" is a film of fairly strong execution built on a faulty concept that meanders too much in its idea and yet remains clamped onto too many cliches. The performances are top notch and the atmosphere works, but this film could have been exponentially more impactful. This is a film mostly for those looking into more artistic home invasion films...otherwise its probably a rental at best.
Written By Matt Reifschneider
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