Movie Review: ‘Skinamarink’ Isn’t For Everyone

January 25, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

After making 67x its $15,000 budget in its first week in theaters and receiving an expanded release, Skinamarink has become a viral sensation. I sat down to watch it, not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, only knowing that it was being described as an “experimental horror.”


The movie’s synopsis goes like this:


“Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished. To cope with the strange situation, the two bring pillows and blankets to the living room and settle into a quiet slumber party. They play well-worn videotapes of cartoons to fill the house’s silence and distract from the frightening and inexplicable situation. All the while in the hopes that, eventually, some grown-ups will come to rescue them. However, it becomes clear that something is watching over them after a while.”


The movie plays out with strange shots of the house, primarily ceilings and partial door frames, and never shows more than the characters’ legs at any point. It’s dark, grainy, and looks like something shot on an old VHS that came from a camera that keeps getting sat down by a toddler. We get an occasional voice that feels disembodied, sometimes loud, and sometimes as a whisper. I assume the director used this type of cinematography in an attempt to make viewers feel off-kilter and unsettled, which was accomplished.


I’m going to be honest; this movie is not for everyone, including me. I tried my best to get into it, but I couldn’t. I found the fact that I couldn’t see what was going on more obnoxious than entertaining. And the fact that you have to focus intensely and pay attention to every single shot, every line the entire time, didn’t help. It became tedious. I understand what director Kyle Edward Ball was trying to accomplish, but the movie wasn’t for me.


Don’t get me wrong; I’m not telling you not to watch it. If you’re looking for something different in the genre and like experimental horror, you may very well love it. After all, it is getting rave reviews from many critics, just not this one.


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