Written & Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, and Jan Cornet
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Dr. Robert Ledgard (Banderas) is a gifted doctor and researcher in this bizarre soap opera of a horror film that delivers a modern-day version of Frankenstein at its core. Dr. Ledgard nearly lost his wife in a fiery car crash. Finding her barely clinging to life, he desperately tries to help treat her burning and disfigured appearance, conducting research around the clock. The home is kept dark and free of mirrors, they compare their lives to that of a vampire.
One fateful morning, Mrs. Lefgard hears her daughter singing in the garden. She gets out of bed and opens the window, revealing her horrific visage in the glass. She throws herself to the earth and dies. Crippled with tragedy, the wreck of a husband ends up experimenting with a genetically enhanced, hybrid skin. His relationship with his locked in human experiment gets exponentially weirder.
While I greatly appreciate the precise and engaging manner in which this film was shot, I just couldn’t feel for these characters in any way. “The Skin I Live In” never touched me. Considering this is a film about loss and tragedy, I never felt sorry for any of the characters; a strange miss that made this boring and sterile to me.
Overall, I think most horror fans can find something they enjoy about this film, but it never managed to move past a visually striking film. There is an excess of violence and nudity that some people might find tiresome. However, the most offensive thing about it is the lack of emotion I should have been feeling. There is a nice twist about 2/3 of the way through that I was oblivious to, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to invest 120 minutes into this.