‘Skinamarink’ and the Eerie Horror of Nothingness

Kyle Edward Ball’s feature film debut is a long-winded, palpable slice of analog terror.

Nikki Davis

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(via IFC Films/Shudder)

I’ve seen plenty of movie-goers leave a theater feeling perplexed in my time, but I’ve never witnessed so many people enter a showing looking confused until I saw Skinamarink.

In addition to its large main screen, the Plaza Theatre Atlanta has two upstairs screening rooms that seat 50 people each. I brought my self and a local brew into one of them, casually assuming I’d be able to experience whatever the hell this film was with maybe three other people.

I was all-the-way wrong — and so was every other person who walked through the screening room doors.

One by one, I heard little utterances of, “Oh, wow,” and, “Wait, is this the right room?” and, “Well, there’s space at the front,” as people filled the place up. A 50-seat theater is cozy indeed, so all of us ended up trading befuddled looks and chuckles over the same question:

How did we all end up selling out a screening of a movie that absolutely no one is talking about?

Shamefully, I don’t yet subscribe to Shudder, but I’d spotted a few people mentioning Skinamarink on Twitter. (Yes, I’m still there, until the bitter end. I like a good ol’ implosion.) All I knew about this movie was that it was a low-cost production that was grossing an unexpected amount at only a handful of screenings and had already polarized its audience. Perfect.

Here’s the thing: This is an experimental film, so I can’t offer you a conventional review. Skinamarink is unrated, and though it has characters, there are no names, no faces, and no real plot points. It’s probably the best embodiment of the “found footage” genre in that regard — it’s like someone spliced together someone’s old, aimless home movies from 1973 and accidentally found something there that makes no sense to say out loud.

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Nikki Davis

Pop culture fiend and perpetual word nerd. Self-proclaimed expert playlist maker. Writing about film, TV, music, productivity, and self-care. 🤓🎞️🏳️‍🌈