The viral sensation Skinamarink is the new Blair Witch Project
Kyle Edward Ball’s devious, skin-crawling indie horror film Skinamarink is sparse, like the song Ball took its name from.
Skinamarink has been met with both praise and skepticism, like so many other great historical horror films — particularly Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s 1999 horror game-changer The Blair Witch Project.
And then a gargled, childlike voice beckons them. Non-fans say it’s slow, trudging, and lacking in scares.
All of which brings back The Blair Witch Project, which was similarly criticized as “boring” and “not scary” by viewers ...
...who bought into the advance hype around the film, then found it wasn’t what they expected from a horror movie.
In Skinamarink, the camera is mostly still. The camera gazes unflinchingly at one repeated dark room or hallway in particular. When a door creaks, you don’t know who or what is walking through it.
When a light turns on, it only reveals more dark voids. Jamie McRae’s cinematography takes Kyle’s or Kaylee’s vantage point ...
...a few times, with the camera stumbling around as they try to find their way through the dark, where voices beckon them.
It perpetually shifts our understanding of how the house is put together. Any door can disappear, then reappear later.
He recently told RogerEbert.com that “from the get-go, the internet has been my co-director.” He turned one of those submissions into the horror short Heck, a clear precursor to Skinamarink.
After Skinamarink debuted at the 2022 Fantasia Festival, TikTok users began to make their own videos warning viewers about how scary the movie is.
But where Blair Witch Project used a digital handheld camera as a cipher for terror, Ball used retro technology. The ...
...TV’s harsh white light, often silhouetting the kids and their toys, starts to repeat sequences from the cartoons.
“I had to do a lot of tricks as far as implying action, implying presence, POV, to tell a story with no cast,” he told iHorror.
Like Blair Witch Project in 1999, it doesn’t look anything like the other viral hits of its era, and its ability to conjure ...
...fear and dread in the simplest ways is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity that horror cinema offers.