|IN HER SKIN (director/writer: Simone North; cinematographer: Jules O'Loughlin; editor: Jane Moran; music: Ben Frost; cast: Guy Pearce (Mike Barber), Miranda Otto (Elizabeth Barber), Ruth Bailey (Caroline Red Robertson), Sam Neill (David Reid), Kate Bell (Rachel Barber), Khan Chittenden (Manni), Jack Finsterer (Detective Patterson); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Tony Cavanaugh; IFC Films; 2009-Australia)|
unpleasant narrative makes for a disturbing
but not a good drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
It's ineffectively written and directed by Simone North. The unpleasant narrative makes for a disturbing but not a good drama. The wooden acting (except for Ruth Bailey's emotional killer performance) and the awkward framing of the story makes it a poor watch. We unwisely learn very little about the vic, but learn more about the pathetic killer.
The story is divided into three parts: the first part focuses on the girl’s hysterical parents, the second part on the killer, and the last part on the victim herself.
When the 15-year-old ballet devotee Rachel Barber fails to meet her dad Mike (Guy Pearce) at the train stop after attending a dance exercise, both her father and mother Elizabeth (Miranda Otto) become concerned. Her boyfriend Manni (Khan Chittenden) tells her parents that Rachel told him she had a high-paying job she couldn't reveal. The police react indifferently, smug in their belief she's a runaway and frustrate the parents by basically doing nothing but going through the motions.
In the third act, when the press learn of the missing girl and write a story on it, Detective Patterson (Jack Finsterer) takes over the investigation and the film turns into a dull police procedural film, as the sicko self-hating killer is hunted down and captured.
Sam Neill co-stars as Caroline's distant and wealthy father.
REVIEWED ON 7/23/2016 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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