After receiving a deep gash to her leg in an accident, an obsessive marketing executive develops a compulsion to play with the wound and to cause herself additional bodily harm for her own sick pleasure. This cleanly dressed production tackles the edgy subject of self-mutilation in a way that no other film has in the past. Although it is incredibly horrific, IN MY SKIN focuses its attention on the psychological condition that drives Esther's cutting rather than simply exploiting the gut-wrenching scenes of extreme gore. The film has often been compared to the works of both Roman Polanski and David Cronenberg, and with good reason, as it combines the same delusory behavior that Catherine Deneuve's character experienced in REPULSION with the graphic and nauseating body horror found in SHIVERS or RABID. Marina de Van's devastating performance is disgusting and frightening because it is honest and real. The overriding theme of addiction that she instills in the script stretches far beyond the plot itself, as the topic of self-mutilation could easily be interchanged with any other compulsive behavior and still be just as effective. There is also a sickening sense of realism in every pinch, every cut, and every bite that makes Esther's personal butchery utterly believable. Horror fans that are seeking out the next INSIDE may be sorely disappointed, however those interested in shocking and brutal character studies will find IN MY SKIN to be a modern classic in French cinema.
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If you liked IN MY SKIN, check out:
FEED, RABID, REPULSION.