- Awesome Art: Even negative reviews have pointed out that the film is visually stunning.
- Awesome Music: Several 80s songs are covered by the girls' choir in a way that gives the film a somber tone.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Halfway through the film everyone joins in a group cover of Naked Eyes' "Promises, promises". Including Carolyn's rotting corpse.
- Broken Base: Critical consensus is quite polarised. Depending on who you ask, it all boils down to just how relatable the characters are, plus whether the more visually quirky moments make the film engaging or pretentious.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Laurel's mother decides the missing posters around town aren't eye-catching enough, so she comes up with some garish pieces covered in glitter. Laurel points out that she misspelt Carolyn's name, to which her mother replies that she can't be bothered starting over. Seeing the parent of a teenager fail so hard at caring is so ludicrous it bypasses just how shocking a moment like this would normally be.
- Moe: Carolyn, mostly due to her glasses and band uniform.
- Narm: Joanna's father wears his clown makeup at all times and that's including when he's committing adultery. Does Laurel's mother have a clown fetish or something?
- Narm Charm: As odd as the "Promises, promises" moment was, it is a tear-jerking moment nonetheless.
- Pretty much any scene with Lisa.
- Charlotte's guitar getting trashed.
- The numerous failed attempts to find Carolyn are quite depressing, as her body is always just out of sight.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the start of the film Lisa walks into Carolyn's room clutching a knife, hinting that she was planning to mutilate her own daughter. This is immediately swept aside and never acknowledged again.
- The Woobie: Carolyn. From all appearances she seemed like a sweet girl who was cruelly left to die just because she wouldn't put out.
- Charlotte is an Iron Woobie. She gets bullied hard enough in one scene that she's left bleeding from her mouth, yet shrugs it off.
- Laurel's father is being cuckolded and doesn't know it. Given that he's the chief of police and thus one of the few residents that hasn't given up on finding Carolyn, he really seems to have more than his fair share of problems.
- X Meets Y: The film has been called Twin Peaks meets Heathers by several reviewers.
YMMV / Knives And Skin