What you should know about ‘Skinamarink’


“Skinamarink” is an experimental horror film directed by Kyle Edward Ball, and it is known for its unconventional and abstract storytelling style. The film is intentionally vague and open to interpretation, which makes it challenging to provide a straightforward plot summary. Instead, “Skinamarink” is more about creating a mood and evoking feelings of unease and fear in the audience through its visual and auditory elements.

What is Skinamarink about?

The film follows two young siblings, Kevin and Kaylee, who discover that their father has disappeared, and all the doors and windows of their home have vanished. The story is primarily told from the perspective of these children, emphasizing their vulnerability and fear as they navigate their increasingly eerie and unsettling surroundings.

“Skinamarink” is not a traditional horror film with a clear narrative or well-defined characters. It relies on abstract and experimental techniques, including long shots, minimal dialogue, and a focus on atmospheric elements, to create a sense of dread and disorientation. The film’s intentionally grainy and distorted visuals, along with its use of sound and mood, aim to immerse the audience in a nightmarish and surreal experience.

What was Skinamarink’s budget?

The horror film “Skinamarink” had a modest budget of $15,000. Despite its limited financial resources, the film garnered attention and became a notable entry in the experimental horror genre. As of today, Skinamarink has grossed $ 2.1 million.

How was Skinamarink filmed?

“Skinamarink” deliberately uses a lo-fi and experimental visual style to create a unique and unsettling atmosphere. The film’s director, Kyle Edward Ball, and cinematographer, Jamie McRae, employed several techniques to achieve this distinctive look.

The film was shot in a location with minimal lighting, as the windows were blacked out, and a flickering TV was often the only light source. To capture the dark scenes, they used a camera with a high ISO setting, ranging from 51,000 to 102,000. This high ISO allowed them to capture brighter images in low light conditions but introduced digital noise to the picture, adding to the film’s eerie quality.

The filmmakers used a sun gun with a blue filter tilted downward to create a mock half-infrared effect. This technique, combined with color grading in post-production, added to the perception of darkness and created a visually compelling atmosphere.

After the shoot, director Kyle Edward Ball used digital filters in post-production to transform the images into a vintage, VHS-like quality. He purchased overlays to mimic various film stocks and colors, allowing for a unique and nostalgic visual style. Different filters were applied to individual shots based on mood and color grading, contributing to the film’s mysterious and nostalgic feel.

Why is Skinamarink so divisive?

“Skinamarink” is an experimental horror film that challenges traditional storytelling and cinematic norms. It deliberately eschews conventional narrative structures and character development in favor of abstract and surreal elements. Such experimentation can be unsettling for audiences who prefer more straightforward and familiar storytelling.

The film is intentionally vague and open to interpretation. It doesn’t provide clear answers or explanations for the events that unfold, leaving viewers to piece together the narrative on their own. This ambiguity can frustrate viewers seeking a more concrete and linear story.

The characters in the film are mostly kept offscreen or obscured, making it challenging for viewers to connect with or empathize with them. This deliberate choice can create a sense of detachment and unease.

“Skinamarink” diverges from traditional horror tropes and conventions. It doesn’t rely on jump scares, gore, or typical horror motifs. Instead, it seeks to generate fear and discomfort through abstract and psychological means, which may not resonate with all horror enthusiasts.

Ultimately, the film leaves much of its narrative open to interpretation, encouraging viewers to bring their own understanding and analysis to the story. It prioritizes the creation of a unique and unsettling atmosphere over traditional plot development, making it a distinctive and thought-provoking entry in the horror genre.

Skinamarink is available for streaming on Hulu and AMC+.