Jeremy Power Regimbal brings us In Their Skin (formerly titled Replicas,) the latest from IFC Films. Mark and Mary Hughes (Josh Close and Selma Blair, respectively,) along with their son Brendon steal away to their cottage following a tragedy that has left them distant and broken. The new neighbors (James D’Arcy and Rachel Miner) drop by for a visit, and go quickly from curious to unsettlingly inquisitive. What comes next, albeit predictable, will leave you gasping for something a little more comfortable.
Shit, I should write the back of movie boxes. Anyway, JESUS CHRIST. I can’t honestly tell you how many times I let out an uncomfortable grunt during my viewing. It got to the point where people around me kept telling me it was just a movie. I’ve felt that same tightness in my chest, but only during a panic attack. It’s that good.
Aside from predictability, the storyline was well constructed. Say you’re a pyromaniac, yeah? And you have built a beautiful set of explosives. A long fuse triggers that finale. It’s the wait. The anticipation of everything blowing up according to the grand scheme. That fuse is just as magnificent as the denouement. This film is that fuse. And when it runs out, oh boy. Be ready.
Selma Blair and Josh Close do a wonderful job of depicting a broken couple. She already looks pretty depressed normally, but when you add in a little acting and makeup, you have a perfect downward spiral. Close has that cocky air about him, but deep down you can tell he’s a troubled man. A family man. Someone who would do anything to keep them safe. And as for D’Arcy and Miner, I didn’t even want them to win. And I love it when the villains win. D’Arcy keeps up a real unsettling tone while being welcoming at the same time.
Minimalism. Especially in effects. There are maybe two shots that required CG or practical effects. No more. And Regimbal still managed to keep me clutching my chest throughout.
As for my final opinion on the film? Amazing. “But Matt,” you say, “you said it was predictable!” Who gives a shit? If you allow yourself to truly immerse yourself in a film, as you should always, predictability means nothing. I still jumped even though I knew what was coming. And oh Lord, did it ever come.
In Their Skin is available right NOW OnDemand + Digital through IFC Entertainment, and will be in theatres November 9th!