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June 8, 2012

Movie Review: Skew (2011)

When it comes to independent filmmaking, you really have to get creative. I suppose that's obvious, considering the fact that this is a creative medium, but I mean in how you put the movie together. One popular trick is to make the cameraman a character in the movie. This started with The Blair Witch Project, hit a bigger scale with Cloverfield, and was tweaked a little in Paranormal Activity. It's a nice cover for bad video quality and gives some leeway on sound and camera work. What it doesn't make up for is story. If the story is good, sometimes the rest doesn't matter. Skew takes the concept and still maintains film and sound quality and uses solid storytelling.

It starts out with three friends on their way to a wedding. There are Rich and Eva (a couple), and then there is Simon, who annoys the other two with his endless filming. Simon's girlfriend is supposed to go, but she bails. Things get weird for him when a motel clerk's face shows up blurry through the camera, and he is later killed.

For a long time, the story seems to drag and things seem to go nowhere. The trio just rambles into the camera about tourist spots and how obnoxious the camera has become. I think now that this is done purposely. It sets you in a lull. After the clerk incident, tension really starts to build, and the lulls make the action more intense.

Skew was really a great and simple film. Everything you see is through the camera. This includes rewinding through footage. It was very well done. The acting is a little better than what you're used to in the indie films. I also like that for a horror thriller, very little blood and gore is needed to get the point across. One simple editing trick makes the whole movie work. I don't do this with many indie films, but I would recommend this to friends. That says a ton coming from me.


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