About a week ago I went to see I, Frankenstein and it was a massive pile of kak. It was not even saved by the monster's magnificent abs.
My brain was so melted by the end of the film that it was desperate for some sustenance. Some movie nutrition. I decided to watch a film called The Skin I Live In. Those of you with Netflix may recognise this as one of the movies you skip over on the basis that it's probably crap and go back to watching repeats of Red Dwarf and Blackadder instead. Or Breaking Bad. Or whatever it is that you've decided that Netflix is probably just about worth the £6 a month for. I have just rediscovered Bottom through the magic of Netflix so I'm well happy.
Anyway. This film had subtitles and Antonio Banderas, so it was obviously going to be good. It was, interestingly, another movie about creating a monster by messing with nature against someone's will. It's a shocker but completely convincingly carried out. A sort of cross between Dr Moreau and Frankenstein but with added Latino hotness.
Banderas is a psychopath with style and, as the staggered storyline, with its changes in timeframes and timelines, begins to piece itself together in your head, it's one of those chills down the spine moments.
The beautiful woman he keeps inexplicably locked in a room turns out to be someone entirely other. And watching his cool, calm way of rationilising his brutal and horrific actions is part of the thrill of the film. Her reaction to what happens to her is utterly convincing and, when you realise exactly what happens to her, that's a shocker in itself.
I wasn't sure, right up until the end, whether she had been driven completely insane and just decided to go with it - her twisted relationship with a man who was at once her father, lover, creator, captor, torturer and rapist. I wasn't sure whether he was turning him into his dead, disfigured wife or his dead, mentally ill daughter. Or something else entirely.
By the end it's clear that she is sane and clear thinking and she gets out. Returning to her home after six years disappearance, her mother doesn't recognise her. Not surprising, really, as she was most definitely male when she left.
It sounds ludicrous and melodramatic and it is, in a way, but while watching it you find yourself utterly absorbed in each character's tragic and disturbing story. And it's so repellent but with no gore. More horrifying than stupid shock horror movies that leave nothing to the imagination, it's a set up that's so plausible somehow, that I started to wonder whether this had ever happened before.
Watch it. It'll encourage you to take up yoga, at the very least.