Under The Skin on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review


Under The Skin is, let’s get this out the way, the film where Scarlett Johansson gets her kit off.

Without anyone in the cast having a name for their character, she plays an alien who crash lands down in Scotland. It’s not quite clear whether she’s all for Scottish Independence, or for the Better Together campaign but, what is known, is that she’s stopping random men and having sex with them.

Scarlett provides a rather haunting presence as she delivers her dialogue in a straight fashion, even before the background music kicks in. However, she hasn’t planned things out too well, since she lives in an incredibly grotty house which would find both the Young Ones‘ house, and the Trainspotting toilet way too clean to be of worth in her abode.

By contrast, Under The Skin also takes in a number gorgeous sights around Scotland, including Tantallon Castle, Auldhame, East Lothian; the forest at Lochgoilhead, Argyll and Bute; and she does like to be beside the seaside at Auchmithie, Angus.


The premise behind Under The Skin is a very intriguing one, but it’s one where, overall, it doesn’t really make a whole heap of sense, since the first 30 mins makes you think the plot is building up to something to something quite unique… but then as it goes on, it just meanders for the remainder, which is a let-down. However, it’s still very engaging for most of its running time, mainly due to Ms Johansson, so it’s certainly worth a watch.

Oh, and you’ll need the subtitles on for the Scots lingo.

Fascinating fact:

    When director Jonathan Glazer made this film, the intention was for the pick-ups to be real, so he hid in the back of the fan and passed instructions to our leading lady via an earpiece, about who to chat up, with the exception of the man played by Adam Pearson, who’s heading for Tesco. Then, once the van filming was complete, the reason for the pick-up was revealed to them and they were then asked to film some additional scenes, the content of which I will not reveal here. Hence, there’s a lot of improvised dialogue in this film which always makes for an intriguing watch. Well, except for much of the film Confetti.

And below you can hear the main haunting piece in the film: Lonely Void by the film’s composer, Mica Levi.

Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the film, plus the presentation and extras.


The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical ratio and is in 1080p high definition. The picture on the disc is crisp and sharp, getting across the grimness of some locations, while having others looking utterly stunning.

The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, but is mostly dialogue and the ambient music from Mica Levi, which is quite something.

The extras are as follows, and it’s a series of ten featurettes, which could have been presented as one item with ten chapters, but they’re all separate.

They start with Camera (5:26), where the crew explain how separate cameras were set up in the cars, rather than one which was moved about by hand, as the former would allow for a scene to play out naturally, rather than having to stop/start as they record a scene from a different angle. The most number of cameras they used was ten.

The other nine are very similar, but rather speak for themselves so I won’t go into masses of details. They are as follows: Casting (4:36), Editing (4:22), Locations (5:16), Music (5:17), Poster design (2:03), Production design (3:16), Script (5:44), Sound (1:55) and VFX (4:10).

The menu mixes clips from the film with the incidental sounds, and it’s a weird menu because Blu-ray ones are normally seamless between menu changes, yet this one stops/starts just like a DVD menu. That’s very odd.

There are subtitles in English, and when it comes to the chaptering, I feel one should come every five minutes on average. Studiocanal had upped their game to 32 for Robocop‘s reboot, but have gone back to the low standard of 12, here. Why??

Under The Skin is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.



Running time: 108 minutes
Cat.no: OPTBD2549
Year: 2014
Released: July 14th 2014
Chapters: 12
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 1.85:1
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Producers: Nick Wechsler and James Wilson
Screenplay: Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer (based on the novel by Michel Faber)
Music: Mica Levi

Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy McWilliams
Lynsey Taylor Mackay
Dougie McConnell
Kevin McAlinden
D. Meade
Andrew Gorman
Joe Szula
Krystof Hádek
Roy Armstrong
Alison Chand
Ben Mills
Oscar Mills
Lee Fanning
Paul Brannigan
Marius Bincu
Scott Dymond
Stephen Horn
Adam Pearson
May Mewes
Michael Moreland
Gerry Goodfellow
Dave Acton
Jessica Mance


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