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April 26, 2019

Cold Skin (2019) --- "How Much Horror Can The Heart Endure"

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
In 1914, a meteorologist, named Friend (David Oakes) travels to a remote island to replace the previous research. However, he is nowhere to be found, the island’s lighthouse is built like a fortress, and the lighthouse guard, Gruner (Ray Stevenson), is more of a paranoid castaway then a guard. Everything seems to be fine on the island but when night hits an army of humanoid sea creatures rise from the ocean, seeking to attack him and the lighthouse. How long can they survive the attacks before they lose their minds and start attacking each other? Will they ever get off the island? Or are they doomed to fight for their lives every night?
   Directed by Xavier Gens (Hitman), written by Jesus Omo (28 Weeks Later) and Eron Sheen (Errors of the Human Body), and based on the novel by Albert Sanchez Pinol, Cold Skin (2017) is a sci-fi horror film that delivers with suspense and chill by presenting a darker version of mermaids. The sea people were designed by  Arturo Balseiro (The Wolfman) and their prosthetics were created by Sebastian Lochmann (Annihilation) and Raquel Manuero (Overlord), and let me say that the concept and special effect makeup were incredible. I was not expecting to see this level of detail and skill in a film like this.
   Another incredible aspect was the film’s setting. The casting is limited and the use of an isolated but very vast landscape further solidified just how isolated and out of touch with reality the characters were. The filmmakers really took advantage of the landscape, making it work in their favor.
   The story, on the other hand, was okay. While it was meant to be mostly thought to provoke with small bursts of action, the story just seemed to drag on. Almost like the writers were trying to take a relatively small story and stretch it out but unfortunately, that didn’t happen and we were instead left with a number of plot holes that never truly finished. This is nothing like Annihilation (2018), Oblivion (2013) or Ex Machina (2014), but it was still a good watch and at least delivered a puzzling ending much like the aforementioned films.
   Despite never having heard of the actors before this film, I have to say that they portrayed the character rather well. David Oakes (The Borgias, Victoria), Ray Stevenson (Thor, Three Musketeers), and Aura Garrido (The Body, El Ministerio Del Tiempo) sold their performances and played off of each other quite well. Like I said earlier, the sea people were great but their reason for coming on land makes little sense, neither was it ever fully explained in the film.
   Overall, Cold Skin (2017) is a good film, not the best but it is pretty decent. Some of the film’s highlights would be the special effect makeup, landscape/setting, and the action sequences which became unexpectedly brutal at times. The story had a good premise but there were too many plot holes to overlook. The acting was also good, but the characters were never allowed to reach their full potential because of the underdeveloped story. Keep in mind that this film is based of a novel, so perhaps the novel is better than the film, which tends to be the case in book-to-film adaptations. See it, don’t see it, that is your choice. If you don’t mind seeing cheesy sci-fi films then I don’t think you will have much of an issue with this film. But if you were expecting this to be another Annihilation (2018), Oblivion (2013) or or Ex Machina (2014) then you will be disappointed.

Final Vote --- 6 of 10 stars

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