Think of the scariest movie you’ve ever seen and changes are that it won’t compare to ‘The Skin I Live In’. There are two major things that audiences will realize when viewing the film. First, Pedro Almodóvar, the creator of Spain’s most Intriguing films has managed to outdo himself. Second, there is nothing that Antonio Banderas could do that would make him unappealing. Some may have found that after the orange cartoon cat, acting in series of sub par films, and oh yeah…those allergy commercials, they still considered him one of the sexiest men alive. After viewing the film you’ll be able to add watching him kidnap, chain, and surgically assault someone to the list of reasons why you shouldn’t but absolutely do love the Spanish actor.
Banderas stars as Dr. Robert Ledgard, a renowned plastic surgeon who has dedicated himself to finding a tougher form of human skin. Yet he has neglected to inform the medical community that he’s holding a woman (Elena Anaya) captive in order to test his developments on her. During the initial portion of the film, it seems that Robert has some reasonable motivation behind his experiments. He talks of his wife being horribly burned in a car accident before her death and it may be believed that anguish fuels his mania. His attempts to rehabilitate hi mentally ill daughter and his growing affection for his prisoner contribute to this. Then…the rug is pulled out from under the audience.
At the New York Film Festival in 2009, Almodóvar spoke of his love for the horror and science fiction genre. To fans of his earlier works, such as ‘Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, ‘Talk to Her’ and ‘Volver’ this came as an intriguing surprise. ‘The Skin I Live In’ is an exploration of obsession when it has climbed to crude heights. It is a startling foray into psychological torment and arguably critiques the value of identity through surgical procedures. The film could be called Hitchcockian but for the river of sexuality that eerily passes through it like a slithering snake. If you’d prefer a film that doesn’t haunt you or heighten your nightmares, skip this one.