In 2013 and 2015 the indie motion picture company A24 came out with two sci-fi masterpieces that have more or less flown under the radar. Under The Skin and Ex Machina, both starring gorgeous actresses in not so gorgeous roles, raise the bar in modern science fiction. Although the two movies may draw influences from many classics, they are without a doubt unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Under The Skin (2013) written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, is about an alien, played by Scarlett Johansson (AKA the lady Avenger that’s not the coolest Olsen sister) who takes the form of a beautiful woman and roams around Scotland looking to seduce men so she can do mysterious alien-esque bodysnather stuff to them, you know, what most tourists do while visiting Scotland. Under The Skin takes the body snatching premise to the next level, the movie’s filled with weird images that’ll stick with you long after you’re done watching and it has one of the best/creepiest goddamn scores ever, no question, you have to listen to it to understand. One of best aspects (although I’m sure some moviegoers hated the film for this reason) of Under The Skin, is that it keeps you in the dark. We barely know more about Scarlett’s character than the helpless saps she lures back to her groovy alien lair. The movie tells you a story and doesn’t waste the time or effort making sure everyone’s on the same level of understanding. It’s definitely a love it or hate it type movie that becomes more enjoyable every time you watch it, and not just because of the several nude Johansson scenes that would make Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk tear right through those surprisingly elastic purple shorts.
Ex Machina (2015) from Alex Garland the writer of 28 Days later and Dredd, and starring up and coming actress Alicia Vikander, as well as a potion of the cast of The Force Awakens, is about a scientist (Oscar Isaac) and a programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) who are testing out an advanced human-like artificially intelligent android played by Alicia Vikander. Aside from having Oscar award winning special effects which come off subtle and never overwhelm the viewer, the movie has a great story held together by only three characters, each compelling and curious in their own ways. You’ll laugh, you’ll be creeped the hell out, and you probably won’t even know what to think by the time the credits start rolling. Ex Machina is an awesomely subtle science fiction movie that doesn’t need big explosions or racial stereotype robots to keep you in your seat. Hopefully it will help deter the world from all these weird VR robot sex things…Lookin at you Japan.
Under The Skin and Ex Machina, two modern sci-fi movies that are sure to be future classics, are both must-sees for any film or science fiction fan. So if you’re thinking about spending your night out with friends and loved ones, reconsider spending it on the couch or in bed watching our Double Feature Suggestion. Thanks for reading.
If you have any thoughts on this article or either of these movies, or if you just have a lot of time on your hands, please leave a comment…
Photo Credit: Snagged from whatculture.com
Photo Credit: Snagged from justwatch.com