A Review of He Took His Skin Off for Me

I’m gonna start this post off with a quick update on one I wrote a while back. Just before Christmas, I wrote a review of Death Game, a great little cult home invasion flick from 1977 that’s just been remade by Eli Roth under the title Knock Knock. Earlier this week, Roth put out a teaser trailer for it. It’s not much, but you can get the general feel of what he’s going for, which is pretty much exactly the same as the original. I hope that its release will result in a new found interest in Death Game. Just remember, you heard about it here first (maybe). Check it out:

On to tonight’s post. Valentine’s Day is coming up in less than two weeks and while Halloween staked its claim on being the scariest of all the holidays a long time ago, anyone who’s ever been single in mid February knows that you don’t know hopeless dread until Feb. 14th rolls around and you don’t have plans. I’ll take a million spook houses, chainsaws, and Vincent Price movies over department store hearts and candy any day.

So, it’s a little surprising that there is somewhat of a shortage of Valentine’s Day themed horror out there. Sure, there are the standards that everyone goes to, but they are just a handful. Taking that one step further, one must cast a slightly wider net and look for horror that centers around couples and relationships in general. In the next two weeks, you’ll no doubt see quite a few articles about the best couples in horror. I’ve long contended that Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum’s characters in David Cronenberg’s The Fly are my favorite horror couple, but a new student film has been making the festival rounds lately that introduces a couple new contenders.

A filmmaker by the name of Ben Aston has just made a fascinating film as his graduation project from the London Film School titled He Took His Skin Off For Me.

skin poster

Clocking in at just over 11 minutes in length, it tells the story of the stress a relationship finds itself under when a man removes all of his skin to please his girlfriend. What starts out as a pleasant fantasy soon turns into well, just a hassle when it becomes apparent that he’s just going to leave traces of blood everywhere, he can’t land any decent clients at work, and dinner parties suddenly become incredibly awkward.

In terms of tone, it’s closer to the body horror themes of Cronenberg, but it’s impossible to watch it without evoking Frank and Julia Cotton from Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2 respectively.

frank and julia

Clive Barker may very well have cornered the market on images of skinless humans, but Aston and his special effects team have done a fine job here of using that particular surreal image, especially when inserting it into such mundane and sometimes humorous surroundings.

Since its release, the film has made the festival route and has won a TON of awards. Seriously, check out the film’s site. You’ll also find a very detailed step-by-step tutorial on how the effects were created, which is something I would like to personally thank the crew for. THANK YOU for making an effective little horror film with striking imagery that relies entirely on practical, in camera effects. There’s not a shred of CGI in this thing and I hope that more filmmakers follow Aston’s example.

CHECK IT OUT!

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