Monday, February 20, 2012


Full disclosure time, folks.  The director, Sevé Schelenz requested that I do a review of his film SKEW which I happily accepted.  I think that is a very ballsy move on his part to ask someone who could turn out to be a complete jerkola to review his work.  Did you know that there are horror fans out there in the world that have Internet access who are jerkolas?  Anyhoo in order to watch the film I had to subscribe to THE NETFLIX again which I am glad I did.   I was made aware of a show called DOWNTOWN ABBEY which I was told had a character named Thomas who looked just like me.  Truth be told I guess the dreamy eyed, dark haired, handsome Thomas does have a strong resemblance to me.  How charming.  Now I know what I would look like if I kissed another man.............

Moving on.

SKEW is one of those 'caught-on-camera/found footage' type of horror movies.  I know that the genre is a little overplayed nowadays like it was when THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was so popular but SKEW is one of the good ones.  There was a lot of thought put into the making of this movie.  I will admit that I am a big fan of these caught on camera films like the first PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and BLAIR WITCH so I had no problem sitting through another film with similar style.  If you hated those movies then you probably wouldn't like SKEW.  But if your main complaint was that those films didn't show anything then let me tell you that SKEW shows stuff.  Ghosts jumping at your face kind of stuff.

So three friends Simon, Eva and Richard are going cross country to a friends wedding.  Simon is the main character who has brought along his new video camera to film every single moment possible.  He has a girlfriend who oddly enough decided not to come.  Along the way we discover Simon's attraction to Eva which as the trip goes on strains the friendship of the three.  Eva is Richard's girlfriend.  Whoops.  Got to love drama.  Also it doesn't help that Simon is starting to get a little creepy with his new hand held camera.  The poor guy can't seem to stop filming and his sanity starts to be questioned.  The trip is plagued by death all around.  They accidentally run over a coyote, a bus full of people crash and die and a hotel clerk is shot shortly after checking into their hotel.  People's faces sometimes will show up on video as twisted misshapen C.G.I. gooblty-gook.  Simon discovers that his camera skews the faces of those who are about to die.  Worse yet maybe the camera itself might be causing their deaths.  To break up the monotony of people talking in cars or in hotel rooms the ghosts of the dead will pop up and say "Boo" from time to time.  At one point Simon is filming Eva and Richard sleeping.  When he pans around the room BOO! a ghost appears in the room.  Immediately we see the footage rewind and check to see if the ghost is caught on film.  It is not.  Whoa!  Now wait a minute!  Don't get all high and mighty by pointing out that if this was a caught on camera movie you wouldn't see the rewind.  Just let the movie do its thing.  This is one of those movies you got to stick with to the very end.  All will be revealed......sort of.

At first I wasn't sure how I felt about SKEW.  I have seen these kinds of movies before.  The scares are a little forced and when you can tell you are looking at a special effect the film loses a little bit of its realism.  But if you are paying attention to what is going on, SKEW has a way of reeling you in.  A lot of credit has to go to the actors who bring a strong sense of reality to the movie.  They don't feel like actors playing parts in a horror movie.  They come off as genuine people which is a hard thing to do in these kind of "reality" horror movies.  As the spooky stuff started to happen I was constantly intrigued wondering what was going to happen next.  I wanted to know why all of this was going on.  There is a strong element of the psychological at play here.  The ending is what really sets SKEW apart from the rest.  It is a very simple moment.  If you are not paying attention you might not even notice it even when the film points it out.  It is a moment that makes you question everything you have just watched.  Its good stuff and exactly what these caught on film type of horror movies are suppose to be.  CREEPY AS HELL!

Even though the ending left me with more questions than answers I can't help but recommend SKEW.  It is one of those movies that still has me thinking.  I replay a lot of the scenes from the film in my smaller than usual sized brain trying to piece together the enigma the movie left me with.  The relationship of the three characters is important to the overall outcome of the film.  You care about these three.  You care about what is going on.  And you dread what will happen next.  Not the scariest movie but it is hard to shake off the creepy feeling the film gives you at the end.  It is a good WTF moment.  Watch it on THE NETFLIX, folks.


1 comment:

  1. kind of don't get the rapid moving films where we see it from the camera's eye. not that ever time this happens, but it's the idea that it is really happening... and we should be afraid, cause it's really happening...really. though something needs to be said for a mild budget... that attempts to scare us rather than gore us to death.

    great review... i think i went off topic.