[[quoteright:303:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0536401d74b536185f39fbec402ced78.jpg]]

'''''Under the Skin''''' is a {{Horror}}-inflected ScienceFiction film made in 2013 and directed by Jonathan Glazer. It is a loose adaptation of Michael Faber's novel of the same title. The film stars Creator/ScarlettJohansson as an alien who disguises herself as an attractive woman in order to prey on hitchhikers.

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!!This film provides examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: The film puts a more surreal spin on already surreal source material and explains practically nothing.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:The alien]], [[HeelFaceDoorSlam due to some very bad timing.]]
* AliensInCardiff: Aliens in Glasgow.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: {{Justified}} - we can actually hear the alien learning to speak English during the first few minutes of the movie.
* AllThereInTheManual: Several reviews of the film name Johannson's character as "Laura," presumably from a press pack. She is never named in the film, but is called Laura in the "Editing" featurette of the DVDBonusContent.
* AManIsAlwaysEager: All of her victims seem to have no problem getting letting a [[IHaveBoobsYouMustObey strange woman]] take them [[HoneyTrap back to her place]] a few minutes after meeting her. Even the disfigured man, who is a friendless virgin, mocked by people so much that he has to shop at night, completely lowers his guard after just being touched. And, to hammer the point home, the closest thing in the movie to a good guy, the one who looks after her for a while, can (under a certain light) be seen as taking advantage of her. Imagine this movie with a [[DoubleStandard male lead character picking up horny women]] all day long. Though, '''none of the male characters were played by actors'''...
* AmateurCast: Many of the scenes where the alien picks up men were unscripted conversations with non-actors, filmed with hidden cameras.
* AttemptedRape: Near the end of the movie the main character is attacked by a logger who [[DisproportionateRetribution does not respond lightly]] to his truck being entered.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: The main character has nipples but no visible vagina.
* BizarreAlienSenses: [[spoiler:When the female is set on fire, there's a shot of the motorcyclist looking around in apparent confusion. This would seem to indicate that he is aware something is happening to her, perhaps that she is dying or, if he had some awareness of her location, that that awareness is now gone.]]
** This could also be a way to describe some of the mind-screwish scenes in the movie - [[EpilepticTrees maybe they're emulating the alien's perception of the world]]?
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Applying human moral standards to the aliens is impossible, since it is never entirely clear what the aliens are doing. [[spoiler:It seems that they are using humans as food, but even that is just a guess, at least in the movie.]]
** Actually, it seems to be implied that [[spoiler:they use their victims' skins to disguise themselves as humans, to stealthily implant agents on the planet. The flesh may be used for food, though.]]
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler: The men the alien seduces. They get suspended in liquid long enough to puff up, then are ''popped'', with their empty skins [[http://38.media.tumblr.com/9cb8d58060e331f2f3f0505da42c6686/tumblr_n7v6um6bz41ql8t12o1_500.gif still floating around]] (NSFW).]] It's ''terrifying''.
* BodyMotifs: Skin, as one might infer from the title. It's the only thing left once [[spoiler:the alien's victims are consumed]] and it's also [[spoiler:how the alien's true form is revealed, after her false skin is torn open]].
* BookEnds: The film begins and ends with the image of [[spoiler:a dead woman: a mystery girl, implied to be our protagonist's predecessor, at first, and later, the protagonist herself, hinting that she herself will be replaced, just like the first girl was]].
* DarkIsEvil: Everything about the aliens: the black room and its [[spoiler:human processing]] oily liquid, and their actual physical appearance, being [[spoiler:black-skinned humanoids with yellow eyes]]. When they're not associated with black, they're associated with [[RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver red]], with their dimly red lights. However, this is [[DarkIsNotEvil somewhat subverted]], since the protagonist eventually develops a conscience, and only reveals her real form near the end, when she's embraced her humanity.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Seeing the alien in her underwear seems to prevent her victims from noticing (or caring) that they are in the EldritchLocation described below.
* EmotionlessGirl: As per the trope's description, she "mimics social conventions by heavyhandedly triggering the desired emotions and behavior in others." She can turn on the charm and sex appeal when she's luring another victim into her van, but otherwise is blank-faced and aloof.
* EldritchLocation: The alien's "apartment" [[spoiler: that sucks the men she picks up through the floor, and puts them through the aforementioned body horror]].
* FanDisservice:
** One of the alien's victims [[spoiler: is a man with severe facial deformities. Seeing him running around naked is... disconcerting]].
** The much-anticipated scenes in which the alien is fully naked can also (rather surprisingly) come across this way, as there is nothing remotely erotic about the way they are shot. The alien is far more interested in the way her body's anatomy works, giving her examining herself in a full-length mirror a somewhat clinical feeling. Of course, some people will find them sexy anyway, simply because it's Scarlett Johansson.
** "Scarlett Johannson undressing another woman" loses a lot of its appeal when the other woman is dead or comatose.
* FreezeFrameBonus: In one early scene the alien is driving around Glasgow, and we see from left to right: a shop selling leather, a poster saying SPACE INVADER, an advertisement with the slogan "You. Me. Something Else," and a poster for a performance of Beauty and the Beast. Just after the bus with an advert on the back saying "It's possible."
* GenreBusting: Is it a sci-fi horror film? A drama? An art film? All of the above?
* GrossUpCloseUp: A variation; many of the behaviors or details that get extreme close-ups are actually ordinary parts of everyday life that most people don't bother to think about, but become unsettling because of the close attention payed to them.
* TheGrotesque: One of the protagonists's intended victims (the actor really does look like that, but lives a happier life than this character).
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: The alien [[spoiler: is killed by an attempted rapist on the way to her CharacterDevelopment.]]
* HumanAliens: [[spoiler: {{Played straight}} until the GainaxEnding.]]
* HumanoidAliens: Her true form has the basic human body type, but with all-black skin and yellow eyes.
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Unknown: the baby left on the beach after its parents drown is ignored by the motorcyclist, and a later radio report indicates it is missing.]] [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse His eventual fate is not shown.]]
* IronicEcho: Throughout the movie, when the alien seduces men and captures them, an eerie soundtrack is heard. [[spoiler:When the forest guard attempts to rape her and then kills her, a distorted version of the same theme is used, as if to indicate that the tables have been turned on her.]]
* KillItWithFire: At the end of the movie, in the woods [[spoiler: the man in the yellow jacket douses the main character with gasoline and sets her on fire, after his attempted rape of her tears off the fake human disguise she has been wearing all this time.]]
* LegacyCharacter: An unusually subtle example. The dead woman that the alien gets her clothes from at the beginning is implied to be the protagonist's predecessor, hinting that after [[spoiler:the alien's death]], [[FridgeHorror someone will come to replace her, too.]]
** One reviewer gave an even more depressing interpretation - the woman at the start is [[spoiler:Isserley, the more humane protagonist of the novel, who has now been discarded by the motorcyclist.]]
* MaleFrontalNudity: The victims. One of them we see at length is very well equipped.
* {{Masquerade}}: Only the aliens seem to be aware that there are aliens in Scotland.
* MindScrew: Just what exactly is going on in the film isn't clear at the best of times.
* MotorcycleOnTheCoastRoad: There are several long shots of the alien's male partner zooming through the Scottish countryside on his motorcycle. Road racer Jeremy [=McWilliams=] was another non-actor cast in the role because he was able to do this in bad weather.
* NamelessNarrative: ''No one'' in the film has a name, aside from [[spoiler: the family on the beach]], who are named [[spoiler: the Mc!Clellands]], although you have to pay attention a radio broadcast in the film to catch it. Even the ''credits'' don't list any names.
** The first victim, [[ViolentGlaswegian Celtic F.C.]] fan Andy, tattooed his own name on his arm.
* PinchMe: The man played by Adam Pearson pinches himself because he can't quite believe what's happening.
* PinocchioSyndrome: After her encounter with the disfigured man, the alien starts attempting to act more human and do human things, like eating cake or having sex. Neither of them go well.
* QuestionableConsent: The man who takes the alien in after he finds her on the bus has sex with her, and he thinks she is a traumatized / mentally challenged human woman, which would make it debatable whether she could give informed consent. While she seems fine with this, it also doesn't look like she knows what sex even ''is'' exactly, pushing him off her after he apparently ejaculates to examine herself. Thus it seems doubtful that she actually knew what was going on. So from either of their perspectives it's problematic.
* RagingStiffie: All of the alien's victims get erect penises. Well, they are acting alongside Creator/ScarlettJohansson, so you can't blame them! And the film is rated 15 in the UK. How it was possible for the filmmakers to be allowed to show them is a mystery.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: The alien [[spoiler: is killed after an unsuccessful rape attempt just when it seemed she was beginning to learn her lesson.]]
* RedemptionQuest: The female alien embarks on this after [[spoiler:she seduces the man with the deformed face]].
* [[spoiler:ReplicantSnatching]]: Early on, we see the alien's trap [[spoiler:suck out the innards of a victim, leaving only the skin.]] Later on in the movie, we see [[spoiler:the alien's "human" skin peel off, revealing a distinctly nonhuman body underneath.]] Put two and two together, and...
* SceneryPorn: Lots of scenes of beautiful Scottish highways and woods.
* UsefulNotes/ScottishEnglish: Many of the cast speak with such thick brogues that even the alien has trouble understanding them.
* SensoryAbuse: The soundtrack isn't painful exactly, but the harsh noises are played up, and what little dialogue there is tends to be so quiet as to be virtually inaudible, especially if lots of people are talking at once, emphasizing her lack of connection with humans.
* SilenceIsGolden: There is dialogue in the film, but it's definitely not the main focus.
* ToServeMan: It appears quite possible that the alien is eating her victims' bodies.
* SurrealHorror: The intensely oppressive atmosphere and constant MindScrew make it a very unsettling film. No one aspect of it stands out as particularly horrifying on its own, but there is a definite Creator/DavidLynch feeling of dream-like terror to it.
* UnequalPairing: [[spoiler: {{Played with}}. The man the alien comes to trust and then has sex with is simply a normal man, so is obviously far less dangerous than she is. However, he thinks she is a traumatized / mentally challenged human woman, so he presumably thinks that he's the more powerful one.]].
* VillainousBSOD: When the alien [[spoiler:sees herself in the mirror, presumably for the first time, after she consumed her third victim.]]
* VillainProtagonist: Most of the film is seen from the point of view of a female alien on Earth who is seducing men in Scotland. [[spoiler:Apart from what happens to the men, she allows a couple to drown and then leaves the couple's baby on a desolate beach.]]
* TheWalrusWasPaul: Suffice to say, the film leaves a lot of things ambiguous, starting with [[NamelessNarrative the characters' names]] and escalating from there. Who was the dead girl at the beginning? What happens to the baby on the beach? What exactly is the alien doing to the men, and where? What is the relationship between the alien and the motorcyclist? Why did her encounter with the man with the deformed face [[spoiler:cause her to change]]? And so on.
* WhiteVoidRoom: Where the alien takes the dead girl, implied to be her predecessor, and dresses herself in the other's clothes.
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