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Under the Skin explained | Don’t judge a book by its cover

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Reader Interactions


  1. I’m not sure about anyone knowing how the Alien is feeling .,!! How do you or any other human know what an alien is feeling if you don’t know? All your doing is following that path you keep believing in because we are all humans.. just playing a part of how we see things in our life.. you can’t do it any other way? If their is Aliens ( obviously not) we would never know how .. if… or… why….

    • That’s a good point! All we can really do is guess about Scarlett’s emotions. My theory is that she’s slowly forming emotions the more she spends time on earth and sees how humans emote. Either that or she’s just trying to replicate human behavior. Either way, it’s interesting!

  2. I felt the dead woman was an early proto-type, and, she, too, began to have feelings (the tear in the eye) and was destroyed by the motorcycle man. What do you think?

    • Oh wow. That’s such a cool theory. Then there’s this idea that if one of the women fails, she can simply be replaced by someone else who has subscribed to the mission. That creates this cyclical nature to the movie that Scarlett’s character is trying to disrupt. Whoa.

  3. There is a self referenced nuance here when analyzing the juxtaposition of the woman and the ant. Don’t we humans feel superior to pretty much all other living creatures that inhabit this earth? Don’t we see them as simple convenient instruments to feed our bodies and exterior?

    While the immersion of the poor human male victims in the black gook for later consumption seemed cruel, don’t we do the same thing when we eat lobster after cooking it in boiling water? Or beef after carefully corralling the animal for months or years to achieve the correct taste. If those are the principles we live by, aren’t we doomed to be destroyed by the very creatures we seem to believe so inferior to us? Think of viruses, diseases of both body and mind. Self destruction.

    I think the greatness of the movie is that it evokes many questions about ourselves. It is one of those movies we can simply discard as nice eye candy or view as evoking profound existential human questions.

    Thank you for sharing the many subtle clues hidden under the skin of this movie.

    • I’ve never eaten a lobster I didn’t first entrance with my smokin’ hot ladybod and lure into a black floor of unmoving, mysteriously preservative pseudo-liquid. And yeah, joke’s on me because when I quit my job at the lobster-tricking company and hid in the woods from my District Motorcycle Man, a lobster ripped open my disguise when it tried to have sex with me, and freaked out and got some gasoline and lit me on fire and I burned to tiny embers in like 41 seconds.

  4. I wonder if the orange of a human soul and the fire (orange) that ended her life have a correlation.

    • Joining hands…

    • Orange and blue are complementary colours, and I think Travis&Chris are right that the lights represent alien and human souls respectively.

      If you combine blue and orange destructively, you get black (or at least dark grey); Combine them constructively, and you get white light. Do the aliens extract human souls to fill a gap in themselves? To complement their own “lack of orangeness”…?

      When the aliens come to Earth in humanoid form, they are black. It’s a destructive combination of human and alien qualities.

      As she burns, the Woman at first turns to black smoke: The result of a destructive interaction between human and alien. But then white snow begins to fall… has the Woman, at the moment of her death, managed to turn that destructive interaction into a constructive one? Is she at last experiencing the spiritual completion her former masters crave?

  5. Wait a second. If the Motorcycle Man kills the disfigured man, then who do we see looking out the window of the house when the Motorcycle Man drives away in the car? It sure looks like the disfigured man to me. But, maybe I’m wrong.

    • That’s the woman in the house opposite, isn’t it?

  6. Thanks for the perspective. I thought the first woman was a human that was killed by the man so that The Woman could have clothes on her form. I also figured that, while the focus was on the woman, the alien men were doing the same thing as her, except with women. I also thought, lol, that the skin that sloughed off was used by aliens to cover themselves like a skin “suit”. Guess I need to read the book

  7. Think you have missed some points, the alien lights at the top of the block is she continuously taking them to the ship? When the men are processed you see the red gloop turn into pure matter which in turn feeds into what I would assume is the pure energy of the white light aliens. To me it feels you can see the structure of the aliens from pure white energy to black hard matter then to us the Ants!

  8. This movie sucked!!! It has got to be one of the worst of all time. It’s too bad Scarlett would do such a movie because I think she is a very good actress.

    • And what makes you say that? Could you provide some constructive criticism, or is that just an unpopular opinion of yours?

  9. Damn, that’s a great critique. Nice work.

    • Thank you so much!! Glad you enjoyed it.

  10. Nice critique.

    Deep movie.
    A hive mind species trying to take over humanity. The more they overtake, the less insectoid and manipulative they become. Since all members of the hive can experience each other’s experiences, you can tell it is falling apart the more they expand, which is why there are more soldier drones at the end tying up loose ends for the queen whom we never see. It also seems like the consciousness of the victims skin suit is still present. In the black water the skin seems to reach out to the next victim in a way to warn the next, or maybe I’m reaching. Also during the end scene, her mask blinks while it’s off, but that may be because it was engineered to serve as their optics or the consciousness is still there like in the movie Get Out. In the end, it’s an analogy for the existential nature of man and the madness of never truly knowing what lies inside us. It is an eternal mystery. Totally alien.

  11. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think you pretty much nailed everything. But I think the first woman was a predecessor who ended up doing exactly what Scarlet wasn’t supposed to do, which is developing human emotions and that explains the tear falling. Who knows how she died but I think Motorcycle man is now becoming aware that these ‘aliens’ can change from being here on earth, which then jeopardizes the mission.

    I think this is why we have that one scene where he is analyzing The Woman (telepathy) to see if she’s succumbing to emotions.

    I also think the Motorcycle Man is able to “track” the alien to some degree which is why we see him on top of the mountain at the end – trying to pick up a signal so to speak.

    I could never understand the superimposed shot of her and the forrest. I thought maybe it was the Motorcycle Man getting a ‘vision’ of where she might be located but your theory might make more sense to me.

    Another awesome aspect of this film is that the Scottish accents are so hard to understand which was intentional to make the viewer feel ‘alien’.

    Great film and great writeup!

  12. The first woman was a dead prostitute.
    Killed by the “Motorcycle Man” or not, we do not know, but her body was the look the aliens needed.
    They are composed of some kind of tar or oil (obviously flammable), yet sentient.
    Why they are here and trying to integrate is not clear.
    But to look like us, they need only to have our epidermal layer.
    We mostly hear the process in the opening of the film.
    This is obvious in the way she begins luring men for their skins.
    She only hooks the men with no family ties.
    She doesn’t do this out of conscience, but out of protocol.
    Proof of this is in her indifference to the baby on the beach.
    She is only interested in the family-less camper.
    No family ties checking up on someone means an easy assimilation.
    Assimilation, even with just our epidermal layer, still “infected” the aliens with subtle hints of “Humanity”.
    They are all becoming affected by their new human skin.
    The “Motorcycle Man”, as you call him, is some kind of killer/cleanup.
    He could have chosen to drive around in a white van, not draw any attention to himself, yet he chooses one of the fastest most capable sport bikes on the planet.
    He rides it at breakneck speed through the cold, wet, rainy, winding mountain roads.
    He’s hooked!
    Since no one missed Scar Jo’s character becoming “interested” in being human, I won’t go into detail.
    Ultimately, the message is, as cold, calculating, and frightening as the alien’s agenda seemed to be us, it also showed the absolute roller coaster of dealing with humans for the first time might be as well.

  13. I want to thank you Travis for this interesting critique.
    The movie presents many philosophical topics. And focuses more about the human emotions. Even if we consider that the alien do exist and we can assume that they are more intelligent than us, Humans are still more superior creature by their emotions and empathy.
    We can even say that the skin is just a cover but what is more important is the interior : Heart ( Emotions + Instinct ) + Mind ( intelligence )
    Human are in the middle between Aliens ( Very smart and heartless) and Animals ( less smarter than human but use only their instinct ). So what makes human race the perfect race is that the ability to choose whether to use the mind or the heart …

  14. I agree with (and was enlightened by) most everything you said – but I think you are overthinking the ant a little bit. When shown in ultra close-up like that, ants look pretty much like some kind of alien and have been featured in sci-fi and horror movies as alien or mutated monsters, since I have been old enough to watch tv! To me, the ant is simply a hint of the monstrous alien stuff to come.

    • That’s a great point about the context of the ant as an alien. I would say that still kind of plays into the idea of identification. The ant looks like an alien, it’s one of many, just a worker, not an individual. She feels that way but desires to be an individual, which is why she breaks free from her “duty” and tries to be a person.

      • The opening sequence is a complete planetary alignment of our solar system. You can clearly see it in the third pic he has of the scene. This is how the alien gets to our world. same thing as tomb raider kinda

  15. What about the two red lights? When the woman captures the first man, there is a window in the back of the van cab (between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat). The music gets weird, two red lights (that look something like glowing eyes) come floating out of that window, and the guy is gone from the passenger seat. This is different from what happens to the other men. What is your take on what is happening here?

    • I just rewatched the scene. I’m pretty sure the window reflects the brake lights from cars in front of the van. So that scene with the two red lights is her pulling up behind another car at a stop light. If you look out the driver’s window during that shot, you can see the van slows down and comes to a stop. Narratively speaking, this first portion spoon feeds us what the process is. With each victim, we see more of what happens. So I think with the first guy, it’s just supposed to build mystery. It only shows us the portion of her picking up him and starting the seduction. But not what comes next. Just that it ends with him gone and her driving around again.

      • Yeah, but the music implies that something scarier is happening here – and the guy is suddenly gone from the passenger seat in which he was just sitting a second before!

        • OK, I re-watched the scene and I think you might be right about the reflections in the window. It seems like something scarier is supposed to be happening, but I guess it is just a little hint at the scary stuff that’s coming. I feel a bit dumb not to have put that together, myself – and it’s not because I don’t know how movies are constructed (though this one is a bit more ambiguous than usual in that regard). In fact, I once made a movie, myself! It was only released in Europe, but it IS a real (albeit super low budge) horror movie. You can see it on Youtube if you want (under the title “Gun’s Eye”. If you ever get a chance to check it out, I would be very appreciative of some criticism, coming from a knowledgeable film guy like you!

          • Ah, just saw this comment after responding to the previous one. Happy to hear we ended up on the same page. And no reason to feel dumb. When I watched Sunshine for the first time, I had no idea this character with a beard was Chris Evans. So when Chris Evans suddenly appear on the spaceship and the guy with the beard was never seen again, I was pissed. I legit told a bunch of people how stupid the movie was because it completely discarded a character it spent the first 20 minutes building up. So so so dumb haha. Especially with these weird movies like Under the Skin, it’s easy to overthink things. When we write these analyses, we usually watch the movies once, watch again and take notes, then scrub through the movie and re-watch specific scenes multiple times. It takes all that work just to piece some of these things together. So it’s very easy to not put everything together right away!

            I found it on YouTube! I’ll keep you posted about getting around to it. Feel free to keep checking in via e-mail chris@filmcolossus.com. Like send an e-mail every few months or so and I’ll get there! It’s so F***ing hard to make a movie. So you have my respect!

        • Yeah. It’s just building tension and mystery. The music lets us know she’s going to do something nefarious. And his disappearance adds to it. It emphasizes that something is going on and increases viewer curiosity. Re-watch the film and you can see how much it builds the anticipation of revealing the full process of her abductions.

  16. Great article. I laughed out loud at “(and I’ll keep using this phrase)”.

    • Appreciate it, Jay!

  17. Wow if I didn’t read this the movie was so confusing and made no sense to me only bits I understood but thank you for explaining it❤️

    • I’m glad we could help!

  18. I’m sorry, but any movie that requires this much analysis to understand even dubitably belies the filmmaker’s lack of exposition. It’s poor storytelling, full stop. Watching this movie left me poorer than when I’d begun. I want my two hours back. This is the worst movie I’ve seen since Lobster, an equally pointless and dystopian waste of time. The only utility the movie presents is to teach one to avoid Glazer’s movies in the future.

    • Honestly, I first saw it at the Toronto Film Festival when it premiered and I hated it. It blew my mind so many people loved it. It took me until Travis and I wrote this article to actually re-watch it and I found myself liking it a lot more. Especially when I understood more of what it was doing and how humanistic it was. So I get where you’re coming from. But I also completely disagree that works that require this much analysis are problematic. They’re not for everyone but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. The story here is quite clear and follows all the core beats you’d expect. Same with something like 2001: a Space Odyssey. Lobster is problematic because it’s derivative of 1984 but the storytelling is completely fine. It seems to me like movies that lean more thematic and philosophical aren’t quite your cup of tea. I’d be curious what you thought of various movies like Saving Private Ryan vs. Full Metal Jacket vs. 1917 vs. Dunkirk vs. Apocalypse Now.

      • The point of all art is to edify and inform in some way. (I know that this is considered quaint or even archaic, but I believe it to be so.) Art says things about life that other mediums simply cannot. For example, science can tell us *how* to build a bomb but not whether we *should* build a bomb. Art is vital to that dialog. Movies like Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now inform that dialog, even if one disagrees with the filmmaker’s intent or point of view. My main frustration with Under the Skin is that I am unable to apprehend any point to the movie or even understand its main characters. The motorcycle men remain enigmatic and their interpretation speculative. The black goo remains mysterious, and even the need for the copious volumes of the stuff appears absurd. Had I read the novel, I may have been better informed. But films must stand on their own.

        So what is the point of the film? That we are not so unlike malevolent aliens in the way that we treat other species? If so, a bit more exposition would have been productive. Critics may love this kind of inchoate stuff because it gives them an opportunity to bloviate and pour their vain imagination into a film’s void. But I find it mediocre and insipid. This is all the more tragic considering the filmmaker’s excellence in other moviemaking essentials such as production, distribution, marketing, and the like. I really feel that Under the Skin missed an opportunity to have been great.

        • I agree with everything you said about art and how art informs! So with Under the Skin. Let’s see if this works as an example. Imagine a story about a single parent grieving the death of their child, feeling completely depressed and withdrawing from the world, before finding some closure and moving on with their life. You can tell that story in a very realistic manner. Parent has a job, friends, and we see them trying to be normal but they’re struggling. Eventually they’re completely checked out. By the 20 minute mark, they’ve locked themselves in their home and don’t answer calls and don’t go out, are starving, barely sleeping, really low. But something happens and they turn a corner. The pictures and videos no longer make them cry but laugh. They slowly rediscover what it means to live and how they’re honoring the memory of their child. And we see them return to their job. Their friends. Etc.

          Now that same story was told in the movie Gravity. But instead of it being so realistic, it was told in Sandra Bullock being lost in space and having to make her way back to Earth. The journey is symbolic for grief. A similar thing happens in the movie The Babadook. The monster in that movie represents the grief that haunts this family that lost the husband/father in a car crash. It torments the mother and son, divides them, until they’re able to work through their grief. We call this technique defamiliarization and it’s at the core of a lot of sci-fi movies.

          For Under the Skin, the “should we build a bomb” of it all is about how people treat people, and self worth, and male-female dynamics. In short, it’s an exploration on humanity. Which is why you have scenes like on the beach. When the guy is drowning and the couple try to save him and drown. You have people who risked everything to help someone else. And their baby is left behind, suddenly an orphan. And ScarJo is there. She could help the baby. She essentially has the power to decide if it survives or not. And she chooses to do nothing because she’s not a human who cares about humans. There’s a really deep dive into the human desire to connect, to trust, to be vulnerable. And we see ScarJo’s character fake those emotions for the first half of the movie. But her encounters with these lonely men actually convince her what she’s doing is wrong. And she goes off to find herself. To try and be human. And discover warmth and joy and what it means to live rather than serve. You see the way all these people try and help her. Only for this last dude to take advantage of her. And, when he discovers she’s an “other”, set her on fire.

          I think reading it as literal as “we are not so unlike malevolent aliens in the way that we treat other species” is being too literal. The aliens are more representative of indifference, callousness, seeing others in a dehumanized way rather than as people. With the movie saying that when you see people, when you truly see them, there’s something beautiful in how we treat one another. But when we see others as others…then we’re capable of awful things. So the how ends up being a reminder of how to look at the world. With compassion, with sensitivity, with patience. But also with wariness because the people who see you as an “other” exist. And if you encounter one…look out. Very bleak and beautiful informing.

          I’m not saying that it makes for a movie you have to love or suddenly admire. It might just be told in a way that doesn’t resonate with you at all. But I hope that maybe you can see that there is a depth and meaning to the film rather than it being pointless. It has a point. It just might be a little too exposition-less for your tastes. Which is completely okay! And, I get it. As I said, I hated this movie for years. Oh, another movie like my Gravity example is A Dark Song, if you ever want to check that out.

  19. Wonderful analysis and insight. I liked the book a lot but loved the movie. One key thing missing from the book is the class and political issues that frame the novel. Isserley in the book, instead of being an oily black figure is said to resemble a dog in her original form. Surgery transforms her to human form.
    She did this to be rescued from the dark poverty of living underground, unlike the wealthy who live above ground. She is angry at this and is horrified when she sees the tongue of a human captive cut out. This, and the words of Amlis who believes humans (vodsel) should not be eaten, are key to her turn around. All of this is missing from the film that strives to be more visual than verbal. Yet it is done so well it creates a very moving and unsettling film. Scarlett Johansson is simply magnificent. i’d like to add a poem I wrote about the movie today : Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin
    For Scarlett
    An enticing role where she does entice
    having come from the stars to murder men
    picked up on highways or deserted streets.
    Lapping dogs these men following a trail
    of Scarlett’s strewn clothes to fall into oily
    dark quicksand capture then force fed &
    sold as meat. Scarlet slays many in her abattoir
    until a change of heart this alien may or
    may not have, leads her to abort her mission.
    She explores sex with her foreign parts
    its taint of chaos until a r**ist attack peels
    away the false flawless skin covering a dying
    wraith. Brutally burning her alive to reveal
    finally how truly alien it is to be human. By Rp Verlaine

    • Thanks for the insight on the novel, RP! And the poem is also very nice. I especially like the last two lines!

  20. Hi, thanks for an interesting interpretation of the movie!!
    I have some thoughts I’d like to share. Apologies if I don’t present them in the most organized fashion. Anyways, I’m interested in who the aliens are and how the movie may give us hints.

    One thing at the very start is the sequence that ends with the eye. I see this as possibly a machine. It’s pretty clear there is a donut shape with another shape moving into it. Then we see a circular shape being very clearly filled up with some kind of black fluid. This got me thinking that perhaps the aliens are using some technology to fill a human’s skin with black fluid and the fluid stabilized and is inhabited or infused with an alien conscientiousness which is then given hive directives (a job to do) and some education/training. So I feel like the aliens basically pour their clones into the human skins.

    Evidence for liquid-clones:
    • the alien version of Scarlett is virtually identical to the human Scarlett and the odds of finding humans identical to aliens is farfetched

    • i feel it would be too farfetched that the aliens would be so similar to humans

    • another interesting thing is that i think that in this process the aliens are tied to the skins… even when the skins are torn or removed… which would explain the human Scarlett still blinking and staring back at the alien with a confused look. That is because the clone-alien has never seen what she “supposedly” looks like. Also, her black form possesses some feeling which is why she runs when the gas is dumped on her back. But she can’t fight back because she has no idea what fighting back even is. She is simply a worker-clone honeypot.

    I think the girl at the beginning was a previous worker-clone who was discovered and paralyzed by a soldier. That would explain her tear and emotion shown. So becoming infected with human emotions is forbidden and that is what the worker was looking for in Scarlett-clones eyes. I don’t think there was any physical thing in her eye, he was just looking for a hint of emotion which is why the Scarlett character’s eyes were so dead and completely lifeless.

    This leads me to my other possibility.
    I think the aliens could be an insect race.
    Evidence for this is:
    • movie strongly suggests hive mentality
    • ant moment becomes more fascinating
    • the alien’s true form is SO repulsive that creating liquid-clone technology is easier then anything else
    • CHECK OUT the movie poster. Look at the large landscape version with all the stars. To the left of Scarlett’s face the stars pretty clearly form the face, and possibly some body below the face, of an ant-like insect about the same size as Scarlett’s face. I think it’s fascinating. Here’s a link if it works.

    Anyway, I think the point could be a number of things.
    Perhaps it’s about humanity where some are good and some are bad.
    Perhaps it’s about even insects can develop emotions… but the hive will resist it
    Or perhaps it’s a warning that humans are arrogant and could actually be used as food by a race of “supposedly” inferior insects.

    Cheers 😉

  21. How alienating it is to be human.

    • Right?

  22. “IT’S A TRAP!”
    -Admiral Ackbar

  23. Great article/analysis, but it might have been slightly differently informed if you knew (and if you believe him when he says this) that Glazer never read the novel.

    According to an article on another site (Collider): “Glazer also revealed that he hadn’t read the original novel of the same name by Michel Faber, so the source material is unlikely to clear anything up.”

    So it appears (again, if you trust Glazer) that he knew the general idea of the story but took it in his own direction. And considering how many years he developed this before filming it, it makes sense that he would have carried it far from the source material.

    • Definitely. When I was looking at the source material, it felt unimportant lol. I mean, it does serve as a foil and can give us clues. But it didn’t feel necessary in the way that reading White Noise helps you understand the movie White Noise. But I don’t think knowing that Glazer never read the novel would change the overall points we make in the explanation. It is good to know, though! Appreciate the insight.

  24. One thing that is missing in your analysis that I think is an oversight that should never be ignored about this film is: the eyes being windows to the souls. They are instrumental in this story. That along with matters of the soul and karma. Literally the first picture of the woman we see is that of her eyes. This is also an obvious commentary on women in sex work.

    Look at the end of the film to better explain my thoughts. After seemingly fighting for her life sprinting in a marathon of self preservation against her persuer. She is twarted and overpowered. She looked up to the heavens with a sort of incredulity or reservation of her fate. Apathy overtook her gaze as she looked up in detached thought. Perhaps she is thinking of her home world. Perhaps she is thinking of her insignificance in the grand scheme of things much like the ant she regarded or the other woman she murdered to “take her place” at beginning of the film.

    She seemed to empathize and mirror the ant more than she ever equated humans to them (though both can be true at once thematically). She sees herself to be expendable. Her entire existence is to be a glorified extraterrestrial sex worker. One who has no agency until she starts to assimilate with the humans.

    Back to the end of the story:

    The r**ist human man tears her skin layer off and backs away at the unsightly visage of her true form. A black almost antlike exoskeleton of an outer exterior under her husk. I don’t think this was by accident. It is the same texture and tone of an ant. He instantly sees her as a freak and violently pours gasoline and ignites it. This parallels real life assaults toward fems (specifically trans, passing racial minorities and overall the queer and the popular “gay panic m*rder” defenses from the 90s) especially in sex work.

    She then begins walking away similarly to her more detached way of handling the hoodlums from earlier. The way the shot is framed mirrored her seductive way she used to lure the men into her honey trap. Only now she is more like a wounded animal sloshing about rather than the apex predator like from before. She seemed to go through the motions of her empty existence on earth when she identified more as an alien as she pushed forward.

    Then she removed her mask and revealed her true form. She crouched down and removed her second skin and she looked deep into her own human forms eyes. It seems to again mirror earlier in the film when she seemingly pondered who she truly was, only in the mirror that time. Is she an evil, souless -she has no eyes in her alien form so her identity is without a soul (like ants). Is she a temptress forced into sexual slavery? Is she apart of the hivemind of her patriarchal world? Or is she a woman with her own individual soul that is tailored to her sins and atonements? Can she atone for her sins?

    It’s like she understands she deserved death karmically that’s why it called back to her reevaluation of herself earlier in the film when she let the poor incel man go (the first time she seemingly experienced guilt for her heralding mass murders for her alien brethren). In fact when she first meets him she tells him he has beautiful eyes. This just hammers home the idea of purity in the soul being convied through the eyes. She is looking into his essence and by just his body unlike with the other men she violated. One of the men even comments before being abducted that there was something “off” about her eyes foreshadowing this being an underlying theme of the film. It might even be the biggest connection of the entire film. Especially in a film that seems like things just happen this seems to be concerted attempt to bring all the stories together.

    This was her way of asking for salvation of her soul before she burned into the atmosphere. That’s why the ending being so spiritual looking is very telling as to why I think it works as an explanation. The woman eyes were how the film begins and ends.

    Anyway, that was just my stream of consciousness rambling of thoughts. Great work on your analysis of the film. Helped me contextualize my thoughts on it so much more. I hope my thoughts help you do the same.

    • Hey James! I think that reading is very fair. Whether it was the “intended” one or not, it’s a very valid frame through which to discuss Under the Skin. And I think you’re right about eyes being a more consistent theme than we maybe addressed. I’m sure this is going to be a comment that people come across and really appreciate! Thanks for leaving it.

  25. The scene where she’s looking at her human face, which was still emoting, pretty much confirms the predecessor theory, mirroring the expression and emotional tear rolling down the cheek. Creepy good movie.

    • Right?

  26. Great write up. Very useful, thanks.

    • Happen to hear it!

  27. I enjoyed your analysis and looked for it because much of the movie eluded me. My thought was the purpose of the black goo was to remove the skin for use by another alien. Nobody mentioned the fact that when the two men were in the goo the first man was bloated and much larger. Then he popped and his skin fell off. I think they kept the original human face and eyes and parts of the brain to form a perfect human mask. The human brain alien brain hybrid was why they start developing empathy. The black mannequin in the room with the NF guy was an alien waiting for his new skin. The reason The Woman undressed the alien in the beginning was an indirect way of representing her removing her skin to put it on herself. The director just didn’t want to give too much away too early.

    Also I didn’t catch any he meat part – How to serve man. I thought it was the aliens way of disguising themselves to learn what they can about humans before the hive conquered them a la Enders Game.

    I disagree with your thought that the first few men she met were good. Except for the guy in the tent they only wanted to hook up. This was a flip on the serial killer killing prostitutes (eg, Long Island Killer) by a killer prostitute killing jerks. On this sense she was an antihero and not a villain from the beginning.

    Arguments against some of my ideas are why she was assembled on the ride to the planet? Maybe she wasn’t fully assembled until she landed and they skipped that part to build suspense. Also, why would she lure a deformed man if she only wanted to use him as a meat suit? Maybe her alien mind saw him as beautiful- what is a beautiful ant?

  28. Glazer said in an interview he never read the book so all this explanation about “his interpretation” is useless

    • In an interview with RogerEbert.com, Glazer confirmed that he read the book once. “What I think what is quite interesting in this case is that I have only read the book once”

      So the interpretation is not useless.

  29. After I saw the movie, I knew I will look for some explanations.

    But this critique was much more than I expected, great job and thanks! 🙂

    • Thank you very much!

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