Under the Skin (2013) Poster

Under the Skin (2013)

  • Rate: 7.4/10 total 5,804 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Release Date: 14 March 2014 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 108 min
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Under the Skin (2013)

Under the Skin 2013tt1441395.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Under the Skin (2013)
  • Rate: 7.4/10 total 5,804 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Release Date: 14 March 2014 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 108 min
  • Filming Location: Tantallon Castle, Auldhame, East Lothian, Scotland, UK
  • Gross: $2,067,108 (USA) (9 May 2014)
  • Director: Jonathan Glazer
  • Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay | See full cast and crew »
  • Original Music By: Mica Levi (composed by)  
  • Soundtrack: Real Gone Kid
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Alien | Human Form | Scotland | Stripping | Rape

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Walter Campbell  screenplay
  • Michel Faber  novel
  • Jonathan Glazer  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • The men lured into the van by Scarlett Johansson’s character were not actors. Jonathan Glazer had hidden cameras installed in the van and only informed the men afterwards that they were in a movie. 276 of 277 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |
  • The movie took nearly 10 years to be made and one of the early drafts of the scripts included a Scottish married couple, who were reveled to be aliens in disguise. Brad Pitt was then cast as one part of the couple. 41 of 42 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |
  • A paparazzi still of Scarlett Johansson, in character, falling down became a wildly popular Internet meme in which users would Photoshop Johansson into various situations. As the scene was shot with hidden cameras, it was not until the movie’s release that it was revealed the fall was intentional. 12 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |
  • Gemma Arterton, Eva Green, Megan Fox, January Jones, Abbie Cornish, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively and Jessica Biel were considered to play the lead role. 39 of 48 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |
  • Novelist and screenwriter Alexander Stuart (The War Zone) wrote the first three drafts of the script. 20 of 25 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |

Goofs: Crew or equipment visible: When Laura is walking down the street before she trips, you can see reflections of a crew member in a high-vis vest helping the camera follow her down the street.

Plot: An alien seductress preys upon the population of Scotland.  »

Story: An alien seductress preys upon the population of Scotland.


Synopsis: A gothic horror story about alien predators who lure humans, through the promise of sex, into a secret lair where their skin is harvested so other aliens may move freely among the unsuspecting humans they hunt.

The story focuses on one such newly guised alien named Laura (Scarlett Johansan) who takes the clothes off a dead hooker given to her by motorcycle riding agent. She enters a van and prowls the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland where she uses her sex appeal to attract weak willed men. She attracts one such man into one of several secret lairs which consists of a nondescript black room with a shiny black floor. She slowly strips off her clothes in a dreamlike quality as walks away from him across the black floor. Mesmerized, the man strips off his clothes and follows her, but sinks beneath the black floor and disappears.

Laura does this a few more times in different locals and situations. Helping her is the motorcycle riding agent, also in human form, who cleans up all traces of her activities.

One man (Andrew Gorman) we follow into the inky blackness and see him submerged in the black fluid that is somehow transparent. There he sees another victim who has been there for some time; his skin is wrinkled and his muscles are atrophied. Suddenly, this other man jerks and his muscles and bones seem to disintegrate, leaving only an empty sack of skin. He watches as the skin slowly falls to the bottom of the pool and disappears.

Laura tries to pick up a swimmer wearing a black wetsuit at the beach. As she does so, a tragic event unfolds. Off in the distance, we see a family: a man, woman, toddler and dog. The dog runs into the crashing waves and is sucked under by the fast moving undertow. The woman enters the water to try and save the dog, but is also sucked under. Her husband now enters to try and save her, leaving the baby behind. The swimmer hears the squalling baby and this draws his attention to the man trying to save his wife. He jumps in after him, but fails and barely makes it back to shore alive. While lying exhausted on the sand, Laura knocks him unconscious with a rock and drags him away to her van, leaving the squalling baby behind. Later, the motorcycle agent returns to gather the swimmers things, completely ignoring the baby that is now surrounded by the encroaching tide.

Laura then picks up a man wearing a hood. Once in the van, we can see he appears to suffer from elephant man disease. Due to her naivety, she has no clue that this disfigured man is not a good candidate for skin wearing aliens and she leads him to the lair to be harvested. However, the disfigured man is ultimately rejected and set free. Shortly thereafter, he is killed by the motorcycle riding agent.

Laura is inspected by the motorcycle riding agent, presumably for tears in her human skin. Later she looks closely at herself in a mirror for a long time. Perhaps she thinks she’s human. Or she desperately wants to be one. In either case, she runs away and abandons her van on a foggy highway in the middle of nowhere.

She walks to a nearby town where she tries to eat a slice of pie at a roadside cafe, but she throws it up. She then meets and shacks up with a human male who is kind to her and shows her the sights. Later, he cooks her dinner and together they watch a talent show. Later, in bed, they try to have sex, but he is unable to penetrate her. Scared that the man may have torn her skin, she examines herself with a lamp. At this point she realizes or accepts she’s not human and runs away again. All the while, we see glimpses of the motorcycle riding agent riding all over Scotland trying to find her.

Laura runs into a nearby forest where she receives her comeuppance. She’s attacked by a logger (a predator himself) who wrestles her to the ground and tries to rape her, but in the struggle, he tears her skin and reveals her alien form within. Frightened by the sight, he runs away. She then peels away her skin and now we see the alien lurking underneath. Its not hideous, but is strangely humanlike. Moments later, the logger returns with a container of gasoline and dumps it on her, lighting her on fire. She runs away and falls to the ground, engulfed in flames.

The movie ends as black smoke from her burning corpse coils away into the overcast sky above.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Gillian Berrie known as co-producer
  • Claudia Bluemhuber known as executive producer
  • Florian Dargel known as executive producer
  • Ian Hutchinson known as executive producer
  • Alexander O'Neal known as co-producer
  • Tessa Ross known as executive producer
  • Nick Wechsler known as producer
  • James Wilson known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Scarlett Johansson known as Laura
  • Jeremy McWilliams
  • Lynsey Taylor Mackay
  • Dougie McConnell
  • Kevin McAlinden
  • D. Meade
  • Andrew Gorman
  • Joe Szula
  • Krystof Hádek
  • Roy Armstrong
  • Alison Chand
  • Ben Mills
  • Oscar Mills
  • Lee Fanning
  • Paul Brannigan
  • Marius Bincu
  • Scott Dymond
  • Stephen Horn
  • Adam Pearson
  • May Mewes
  • Michael Moreland
  • Gerry Goodfellow
  • Dave Acton
  • Jessica Mance
  • Jerome Boyle known as Walker (uncredited)
  • Antonia Campbell-Hughes known as Shadow Alien (uncredited)
  • Robert J. Goodwin known as Tearoom Customer (uncredited)
  • Steve Keys known as (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:

  • Christine Beveridge known as hair designer
  • Christine Beveridge known as makeup designer
  • Jessica Cruickshank known as make up assistant
  • Andy Garner known as special makeup effects artist
  • Ian Jones known as prosthetics crew: Asylum

Art Department:

  • Helen Allingham known as art department assistant
  • John Booth known as props
  • Jon Colson known as greensman
  • Simon Duric known as illustrator
  • Jim Elliott known as property master
  • Marianne Gallagher known as art department trainee
  • Roger Holden known as key greensman
  • Will Holden known as chargehand greensman
  • Gavin Johnson known as greensman
  • Adrian Marler known as storyboard artist
  • Jamie McCallum known as carpenter
  • Nicki McCallum known as assistant art director
  • Craig Menzies known as set/props buyer
  • Carly Parris known as assistant buyer
  • Imogen Toner known as art department assistant




Production Companies:

  • Film4 (presents)
  • British Film Institute (BFI) (as BFI) (presents)
  • Silver Reel (in association with)
  • Creative Scotland (in association with)
  • FilmNation Entertainment (in association with)
  • Nick Wechsler Productions (as Nick Wechsler)
  • JW Films
  • Scottish Screen
  • UK Film Council

Other Companies:

  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
  • BBVC  HD video assist equipment
  • Codex Digital  digital recording equipment
  • Company 3 London  digital intermediate
  • Driven Scotland  transport
  • Elstree Film & Television Studios  movie studio
  • HireWorks  Avid Nitris DX rental
  • Mediacom 24-7  accommodation and travel
  • Milan Records  soundtrack
  • Panalux  lighting equipment
  • Sapex Scripts  post-production script services
  • Wave Recording studios  foley


  • Maison Motion (2014) (Taiwan) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Benelux MSD (2014) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • A24 (2014) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Fine Films (2014) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2014) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • MVP Entertainment (2014) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Odeon (2014) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Roadshow Films (2014) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Senator Film (2014) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • StudioCanal (2014) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Amazon Instant Video (2014) (USA) (video)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2014) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Prorom Media-Trade (2014) (Romania) (all media)
  • R Film (2014) (Turkey) (all media)
  • Sun Distribution (2014) (Non-USA) (all media) (Latin America)
  • Zon Audiovisuais (2014) (Portugal) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • 4DMax (3D Cyber scanning and digital modelling)
  • Asylum Models & Effects
  • One Of Us

Visual Effects by:

  • Fiorenza Bagnariol known as digital film bureau
  • Louise Brand known as head of operations: 4DMax
  • Sarah Byers known as 3D camera tracker: One of Us
  • Earle Stuart Callender known as visual effects producer: One of Us
  • Jorge Canada Escorihuela known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Tom Debenham known as visual effects supervisor: One of Us
  • Christophe Dehaene known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Andrea Falcone known as senior character td: One of Us
  • Greg Fee known as vfx data wrangler: One of Us
  • Chaya Feiner known as visual effects producer: One of Us
  • Tim Field known as consultant vfx producer
  • Lucien Fostier known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Richard Frazer known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Andy Hague known as vfx editor
  • Andrew Hogden known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Richard Hopkins known as texture artist: One of Us
  • Ritchie Hoyle known as rotoanim artist: One of Us
  • Timothy P. Jones known as digital film bureau
  • Duncan Lees known as head of 3D services: 4DMax
  • Laura Lynch known as senior visual effects coordinator: One of Us
  • Ian Mackinnon known as vfx technician: One of Us
  • Christina Mandia known as rotoanim artist: One of Us
  • Jeanette Monero known as compositor: One of Us
  • Daniel Moore known as rotoanim artist: One of Us
  • Stephen Murphy known as cg supervisor
  • Stephen Murphy known as look development
  • Louis Mustill known as technical supervisor: One of Us
  • Leila Nicotera known as visual effects coordinator: One of Us
  • Dominic Parker known as visual effects supervisor: One of Us
  • Laura Pavone known as digital film bureau
  • Cecile Peltier known as digital compositor
  • Rachael Penfold known as visual effects executive producer: One of Us
  • Colin Phillips known as lead software developer: One of Us
  • Emmanuel Pichereau known as digital compositor
  • Adrian Pinder known as cloth technical director: One of Us
  • Mike Pope known as digital artist: One of Us
  • Jean-Marc Rulier known as cyber scanning technician: 4DMax
  • Lewis Saunders known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Petra Schwane known as compositing supervisor: One of Us
  • Abigail Scollay known as digital compositor
  • Steve Smith known as roto artist
  • Tom Sparks known as digital compositor: One of Us
  • Barny Stoppard known as digital artist: One of Us
  • Sam Swift-Glasman known as effects td: One of Us
  • Robert Timmins known as element shooter coordinator: One of Us
  • Tomas Tombakas known as data i/o operator: One of Us
  • Victor Tomi known as digital compositor
  • Cristina Vozian known as digital artist: One of Us
  • Samuel John Joseph Walsh known as 3d artist: One of Us
  • Dan Warder known as fx artist
  • Roland Watson known as data i/o operator: One of Us
  • Pat Wong known as senior compositor
  • Nicholas Zissimos known as compositor

MPAA: Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, some violence and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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