Posted by: GregMo Roberts Source:Killer Reviews
I can’t imagine many things that are as terrifying as a home invasion. Having a stranger – or worse, strangers – invade the home to which you consider safe haven and terrorize the residents psychologically, physically or sexually, is beyond frightening.
Hollywood has taken notice and over the years there have been some upsetting horror films that have dealt with the topic. Movies such as Panic Room (2002), The Strangers (2008), Funny Games (1997) and Inside (2007) have represented the crime in stellar uncomfortable fashion.
The latest attempt to ensure we lock the doors when we get home from the theatre is In Their Skin from director Jeremy Power Regimbal.
Starring Selman Blair (Hellboy), James D’Arcy (soon to be seen as Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock) and Joshua Close, In Your Skin introduces us to the Hughes family, Mark (Close) and Mary (Blair) who head to their tranquil cottage with their young son after the accidental death of their 6-year-old daughter. Mark is trying his best to keep both his wits and the family unit together which is made especially difficult with Mary’s attempt to lose herself in the bottom of a bottle.
Their efforts to find isolation are interrupted when their new neighbors, he Sakowskis, Bobby (D’Arcy) and Rachel (Miner). The Sakowski’s are a little aggressive in their ‘niceness’ and casual conversation soon leads the two families to have a dinner together.
It is during dinner that the Sakowski’s begin to show their true colors and the after dinner entertainment will include the terrorizing of Mark, Mary and their son beyond rational measures.
In Their Skin is unique in that it gives us a home invasion movie with the backdrop and motivation and the envy of the 1%. The Sakowski’s come across (initially) as just over intrusive neighbors, not unlike what we all have experienced on our own streets or apartment complexes. It is a notion that doesn’t exactly work to perfection, but it is a lot cleverer than just having a Funny Games style invasion without provocation or incentive.
The cast puts it all out there for us to see with James D’Arcy and Selma Blair standing out in their respective roles. But the movie as a whole did grab us by the short-and-curlies like it should have.
We are not suggesting that it isn’t a valiant effort, but we left the theatre thinking that they could have done more with the story, the characters or the premise to keep us more generally entertained and at the edge of our seat.
Film history will have In Their Skin a blip on the map. When lists are compiled of the Best Home Invasion Movies (try House on the Edge of the Park from 1980) In Their Skin is unlikely to make the Top 10. Top 25, maybe. And I suppose that isn’t such a bad feat in itself.