By Daniel Lammin
24th December 2011

It's rare these days for a film to serve up any real surprises - we've become savvy enough to pick up on the clues long before we're supposed to, piece the story together many steps ahead.

Because of this, the exhilarating rush of shock and genuine surprise in Pedro Almodovar's 'The Skin I Live In' makes it a memorable and distinctive contender for one of the best films of the year.

It would be criminal to give too much away about this one - it is far too delicious and wicked a film to have ruined. Reuniting with actor Antonio Banderas (in one of the best performances of his career), Almodovar serves up a terrific spin on the mad scientist movie, with the slickness of a Hitchcock thriller. Each twist and turn is navigated with precision, culminating in a final reveal that is beautifully understated, boldly theatrical and highly disturbing. Each member of Almodovar's team is at the top of their game, especially Jose Luis Alcaine, whose cinematography is perfectly composed to milk the tension and humour out of every moment possible.


If you're not up for a slow-burning mystery without any sign of gore or blood, this might not be the film for you, but if you have the patience for something different, don't miss it. This is a horror film in the classic sense, sitting comfortably next to 'Rosemary's Baby' or 'The Wicker Man' - a horror film that understands that the best monsters are the most human and ordinary. Even so, I still can't think of another film quite like it. Don't let anyone ruin the surprises. Be intrigued, go see it for yourself, and you won't be disappointed.

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