I just recently viewed Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, who is known for her role as Black Widow in the Avengers movie. I found out about this movie because it's trailer was featured in another movie that I had watched. It seemed interesting because it is a horror scifi about an alien who kills unsuspecting men by swallowing them up into a black liquid. I now know in retrospect that really sounds lame, and it is. I figured at the time that if this actress took the time to work in this film that it must be decent.
First off I have to say that this film is strange, and weird. I get that it is trying to be an art film, and one where there must be something I missed. This films main plot is the star sitting in her van like a creeper waiting for men to approach her, and then like a "black widow" (pun intended) lures them back to her abode to eat them. If they had made the alien a male this would not have worked because it is just plain stalkerish and creepy. But somehow these guys are dumb enough to go with her, and once they enter her house it's black all around...really?? I think that this is the directors way of implying that the preys focus is entirely on the alien seductress. She slowly undresses and they let their erections lead them into black pooling water until they are swallowed up by it. They are stored there until another guy gets swallowed up and then they are eaten. Which is another bizarre conveyor type scene of red and lights. I won't go into any details about this as it was just STRANGE. But the strangeness doesn't stop there. At one point she even picks up this deformed guy, and you are wondering is this a mercy killing or is the screenwriter that cruel??? This alien also has helpers who ride motorcycles and they never explain what they do besides the fact that we know they help her get some guys. Plus the deformed guy runs naked from the house, but wait didn't he get eaten by the black goop too???? It's a serious of event like this that made my head spin and wonder what was going on in this movie. Near the end it gets even stranger, so I'll try to explain this without spoiling it. She runs away from her stalker van and meets a guy on the bus....goes back to his place and actually has sex with him. But immediately afterwards pulls the lamp off the table and looks at her genitals....wtf??? I won't spoil the ending for you guys but it ends just as strange as this whole movie was. I rated this 2stars out of 5 on Netflix. Honestly the only reason to watch this film is to see the starlet, Scarlett Johansson nude. Other than that don't waste your time on this heap of crap.
I received a free e-copy of Engines of Empathy from the author for a fair and honest review. For those who may already be familiar with Paul Mannerings other works, such as Tankbread; this is a completely different type of story. This novel takes place in the very very distant future where all electrical devices run on Emphatic energy, which comes from a mysterious source, because the general population does not know where it comes from. This energy source also makes machines react to people emotions.
This book is comedic science fiction, which other readers have compared it to Pratchett, and at times the paranoia reminded me of Orwell's 1984. All of the characters have seemingly made up names, such as the main character whose name is Charlotte Pudding, and her compatriot Drakeforth. Another comedic approach is that of this religious cult known as Authurians, which believe really silly things in order to achieve transcendence. Mannering introduces his characters as if this world already exists, and the reader gets a peek into the ordinary lives of these future people. Somewhat slow to start the story moves on to inklings of a hidden mystery of what and where the energy source that this world uses is and comes from. The author does this in a rather suspenseful way, the events build up and make you more and more interested....a definite page turner. It is labeled as a part of a trilogy, but the book ends in way that it seems like a stand alone. This was my first exposure to comedic science fiction, and I rather enjoyed it. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. So if Monty Python type cults, talking refrigerators, and evil corporations are your thing....check out this book.