KNIVES AND SKIN (2019)
Knives and Skin is a stylish thriller with a very simple premise. When high school student Carolyn Harper (Raven Whitley) goes missing, it has a strange effect on the citizenry of a small town, especially it’s woman.
Flick is written and atmospherically directed by Jennifer Reeder, who has a very impressive visual style. This offbeat suburban tale is a bizarre story of the domino effect the disappearance of a single person has on a whole town. There are sexual awakenings, bearings of souls, questions about life, finding one’s self and even a musical number, which convey the effects Carolyn’s disappearance has on the eccentric folks that are the film’s characters, especially on her female high school peers. We the audience know where she was and who she was with, though it’s not till near the end that we find out the truth of what actually happened to her. Despite the element of mystery, it’s the journey not the result that is important here and Reeder takes us on an interesting trip indeed into the dark side of suburbia, human nature, coming of age and how we all have things hidden underneath our daily veneers. The film draws one in slowly and it’s almost hallucinogenic style is both unsettling and soothing all at once. The cast, including a very impressive Grace Smith and Kayla Carter, are all very good and Reeder makes great use of the film’s suburban Chicago locations. Christopher Rejano’s cinematography is stunning and there is a very atmospheric score by Nick Zinner. Knives and Skin has a very 80s vibe and will draw comparisons to Twin Peaks, but despite this, is still an original and effective work from a filmmaker to keep an eye on. Not for everyone, but fans of offbeat indies should definitely take a look.