Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Review: Perfect Skin

Director: Kevin Chicken
Screenplay: Kevin Chicken and Dusan Tolmac
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Bob is a tattoo artist whose career is on the brink of ending because of a disease. Before retiring he wants to do a final masterpiece, for what he only needs the perfect canvas. Once he gets to know Katia, he gets obsessed with her skin, which could be the perfect host for his masterpiece. 

The world of tattoos and body modifications is for some addictive and for other repulsive, but no doubt is an interesting one. Beyond the art that can be done, the psychological part of why people do this is intriguing. In this line, Indican Pictures brings the movie “Perfect Skin”, where tattoos and body modifications are the focus point.

Katia, interpreted by Natalia Kostrzewa (“The Looking Glass”) is a young immigrant from Poland living in London, where she finds herself without a job or a place to stay. Her friend Lucy, interpreted by Jo Woodcock (“Dorian Gray”), gives her lodging in her apartment and during a party night, takes her to meet her tattoo artist. Bob, interpreted by Richard Brake (“31”), is a tattoo artist starting to get the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which puts his career in danger.

Once Bob meets Katia he becomes obsessed with her skin to create his final masterpiece before Parkinson’s disease make it impossible for him to tattoo. After trying to convince her a few times without success, he decides to take a more extreme route by kidnapping the young woman. But Bob’s masterpiece is not limited to only tattoos, and Katia will have to endure a hell of body modification for the pleasure of the deranged artist.

Because of its topic is easy to think it will go into the exploitation or torture porn areas but avoiding those is where it really shines. Instead of going towards those genres, it prefers a slow development of terror and sadism and avoids going for the quick abuse. This is constant during the first two acts, but once it reaches the third act it opens up space for violence and gore, with an old school style of practical effects that look great.

The director and co-writer Kevin Chicken in his directorial debut decides to align the psychological darkness we see from Bob with a filming style equally dark. This creates an uncomfortable and gloomy sensation that Brake takes advantage of to give life to the disturbed personality of his character in a phenomenal interpretation. Actually, his interpretation is so good that he ends up outshining everyone else and even Katia often feels like a secondary character. Also, some shots as artistic as they are uncomfortable are used, where we see close-ups of the tattoos and piercings while they are being done, which gives the movie plenty of atmosphere and personality.

Much of the movie is a character exploration. On one side we have Bob, who finds himself in a vulnerable and frustrating point by being in the middle of a divorce and starting to have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which threatens his career. All this pressure ends up psychologically affecting him and leads him to commit some atrocities. On the other side we have Katia, who finds herself being forced to get tattooed and pierced for the satisfaction of her kidnapper. In this situation, Katia is forced to overcome her fears to have a chance to escape. In their interactions we see that Bob keeps developing a psychopaths personality while it’s not clear until the end if Katia is suffering from Stockholm syndrome or if she manipulates Bob to create a chance for herself. 

“Perfect Skin:” immerses the viewer with a calmness improper of its topic into the mind of a disturbed tattoo artist brilliantly interpreted by Brake. The more we know about him and the masterpiece he is doing on Katia, the more we know about body modifications and the exploration of senses through pain. A very well-done movie in a technical and creative aspect, although this last one could have benefitted from a more complex plot. That the script fled from exploitation and torture and opted for a gradual build-up makes all the difference in creating a terrifying experience making the most of its best assets: dark cinematography and excellent acting.

Perfect Skin is distributed by Indican Pictures and is available in digital platforms. It will be available on DVD since September 10, 2019.

No comments:

Post a Comment