After the death of their daughter, the Hughes family decide to move to their isolated cottage to try and rebuild their life together. They quickly find their patience tested by the overly friendly advances of their neighbours - a family that bear a striking resemblance to themselves. Starring Selma Blair (Hellboy), 'In Their Skin' will shred your nerves, haunt your mind and definitely make you think twice about inviting people to dinner ever again...
Following the tragic death of their young daughter a couple take their remaining child, a son Brandon, and escape to the family cottage in the secluded woods; seeing the break as both an opportunity to leave behind the painful memories of their everyday lives the couple, Mark and Mary, also view the holiday as a chance to get their now struggling marriage back on track.
When their strange and forceful neighbours, Bobby and Jane, who have a son, Jared, of a similar age to Brandon, manipulate Mark into inviting them to dinner the couple are shown an example of another partnership, unlike theirs in any other way. Intrusive conversations and bizarre moments in which Bobby attempts to mimic Mark’s tone and expressions follow and the couple become increasingly unsure about their guests. Things travel quickly from uncomfortable to out right scary when Jared, during an argument over a game, pulls a knife on Brandon and Mark is forced to remove the family from the cabin.
It quickly becomes apparent however that the similarities between the two families are not a coincidence as the film takes a dark turn toward the home invasion genre and we learn that Jane and Bobby have decided not only to mimic Mark and Mary, but intend to murder the entire family and steal their seemingly perfect identities.
Though chock full of potential for a dark and disturbing tone first time director Jeremy Power Regimbal seems determined that the story remain centred on the relationship between Mark and Mary and as such has a frustrating habit of allowing the tension to build to an almost unbearable crescendo before switching direction completely and refusing to let the piece reach it’s final climax.
Add to this the typical horror set pieces and In their Skin is a little disappointing, the promise of fear and tension cancelled out by a sloppy and somewhat disengaging ending. The acting, though far from Oscar winning is, thankfully, good enough to hold your attention throughout the runtime, most notably the performances put in my James D’Arcy and Rachel Milner as the psychotic Bobby and Jane. Otherwise however the film is ultimately somewhat of a disappointment.