Knives and Skin caught my eye with it’s eerily seductive trailer. Director Jennifer Reeder delivers a near miss in her Twin Peaks-esque thriller about a missing girl and the community enthralled by the disappearance. I say a near miss because everything besides the amazing visual appeal of the film seems to be (heavily) borrowed from David Lynch.
The cast of characters are talented to be sure, but really familiar. We have the empathetic sheriff, the old school 1960’s classic diner waitress (I was waiting for the log lady to show up), and several other characters that would be quite at home in Twin Peaks or maybe Blue Velvet. To be fair, actors Ty Olwin, Raven Whitley, and Marika Engelhardt play their bizarre but dry characters flawlessly, even if the script isn’t giving them punchy dialogue.
The film never settled into it’s groove for me and I can’t state enough how the Lynch-driven characters ruined it for me. The missing girl has a secret double life, aka Laura Palmer, a crazy mother, and the similarities are many. Even the seemingly sleepy small town is full of secrecy and lies, but really, what small town isn’t.
What I did love was the awesome use of of color and visually striking nature of Reeder’s directing style. The heavy-handed attempt to be weird for weird’s sake just fell flat with me, especially with the recycled character syndrome the film suffered from. All in all, I was bored and that’s pretty much the unforgivable sin when I’m watching films. I give Knives & Skin a C-.