In My Skin (2002)


Pros
  • One of the pioneers of the French Extremity Movement
  • A point for originality, a woman who becomes addicted to self-mutilation (who doesn't think that's interesting in a dark and twisted way?)
  • The results of mixing body horror with addiction are genuinely creepy
  • Does a great job showing the power of addiction, everything around the addict becomes second priority 
  • The addict willing to go to extreme heights to keep her addiction a secret
  • Both her personal life and professional life are falling apart thanks to her addiction

Cons
  • The movie is flat out slow, for such an intriguing premise, the movie moves at a snail's pace most of the time
  • Her friends have severe trust issues when she first gets hurt (specifically her boyfriend who for some reason just does not believe her at first)
  • Who in their right mind wouldn't notice what was going on during the dinner table scene?
  • The final image of the movie doesn't leave as strong a lasting impression as I had hoped

Score: 5/10

In My Skin wasn't nearly as intriguing or repulsive as I was led on to believe, unfortunately. While it does feature some nasty self-mutilation which eventually leads to cannibalism, the movie was quite tame when compared to others in the French Extremity. However, that wasn't the problem with the movie, my main problem with Skin was it was basically a bore most of the time. 

What the movie does extremely well is display the power of addiction has on a user. Like most cases, the first time use seems harmless or happens by accident, something the user thinks nothing of. But over time that addiction grows and grows and becomes something the person wasn't expecting, an addiction. In My Skin does exactly that, the first time she gets hurt it is by accident and she merely brushes it off. But as the movie progresses, she becomes more fascinated with that 'high' which pulls her deeper into her addiction. Displaying classic signs of the powers of addiction, her love life, professional life, and personal life are now falling apart before her eyes. And to no surprise, she slowly pushes everyone around her away and anyone willing to help her is given some type of excuse and hide her dirty secret. It's hard not to appreciate how well this part of the movie is expressed.

But while the allegory of addiction is represented quite well, the movie itself is rather slow and unengaging (which is surprising given its premise). It's kind of like an addiction, we are anxiously waiting for her next 'use' (aka the drug) and everything else is just dull and monotonous. In My Skin boils down to two things, it's an interesting look at a very bizarre addiction, but it lacks the characteristics to spin the movie in an intriguing manner.