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Review The Skin I Live In a.k.a. La piel que habito (2011): A masterful Antonio Banderas!

genre: thriller, horror, black comedy

In reviews about this film I kept reading how twisted and disturbing this film is. And it certainly is but not in a way you would expect.

The twisted part is more in how the characters interact and behave. For the most part it feels surreal. Which only becomes more so after a certain point. Initially it is thrilling and full suspense since you don't quite know what is going on and who to root for. Then when it becomes clear nothing worthwhile happens (at least I and Mrs. P.  think so) making some final events predictable and not very exciting especially compared to the first series of events. The Skin I Live In is not a pure thriller, neither is it a pure horror. It's a mix of genres that is tied together by dark humour. I myself rarely like black comedies since only a few truly manage to pull it off. For the most part is not funny at all. Just weird. But I am aware director Pedro Almodóvar has made it a speciality to make such films so I should have expected this. If only there was a point to the themes we were presented with. Perhaps there is a deeper meaning to it all but in all honesty I couldn't care less. This does not mean I did not like this film. Actually I liked it a lot. I was genuinely surprised at one point and could not wait how the story would end. And like I said before, here is where director Almodóvar fails to do something exceptional. Throughout there was enough in the film that had a lot of possibilities. I myself was hoping for some compelling cat and mouse play. It was present but so subtle and short that it made me wonder why not more was done with it. Thank god for Antonio Banderas. No matter how bad the movie you can always count on him. And he plays his role masterfully. Backed up by a good cast it lifts the story to heights that in all fairness doesn't really deserve it.

Overall I think this is definitely a movie worth watching. But for people expecting a lot of horror or thrilling events will be severely disappointed. 

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