In My Skin (2002) from Tuna

In My Skin (2002) is the most relentlessly disturbing film I have ever seen. I am not the only one with this reaction. Some theaters posted a warning that there would be no refunds for people who walked out, and this was no promotional gimmick. Many walked out anyway.

One of the comments at IMDb was telling. He said it was so disturbing that he had to turn it off and walk away for a while. He then added that he considered that a good thing in a film. Thus, here is the important question: do you like to be disturbed by a film? If your answer is yes, this may be the best film ever made for you. If not, avoid it at all costs. 

So what is it about?


Marina de Van shows all three Bs early in the film.

The short version, it is about a girl who indulges in self mutilation. She is in an upwardly mobile position with a market research firm and has a steady significant other, but is not terribly self-aware. Then, at a party, she decides to explore their back yard, trips, and opens gashes on her leg. She returns to the party, not noticing the injury, until she sees her own bloody footprints. The doctor in the emergency room, while he is stitching her up, comments that it is more than a little unusual that she took so long to notice injuries this severe. This opens some door to her psyche, and she subsequently sneaks away whenever she can to cut herself, chew her own skin, and finally cut a large piece of skin from her leg and tan it.

The Village Voice critic praised the film, although the author seemed far more impressed with his own writing than with the film.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen, French, sub-titled

The film was written and directed by the star, Marina de Van. Most of the film is the depiction of her self mutilation. The DVD had a subtitled version of the director's commentary, and I read enough of it to find out that the woman who wrote, directed, and starred in this film was only guessing why the character she created was doing this.

Had I her address, I would suggest that she ask the critic for the Village Voice, as he clearly has all of the answers.

The Critics Vote ...


The People Vote ...

  • The box office total for the Unites States was $31,000 for eleven weeks. It averaged about $80 (about 10 people, I guess) per showing.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. By our rating system, it is a C+ as a profoundly disturbing film, but one that most will want to avoid. Needless to say, I will never re-watch this one.

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