Remember the scene in Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skin” where a young couple drowns while leaving their baby alone on the beach? Scarlett Johansson’s character, completely devoid of human empathy, hardly looks in her direction as she strolls the beach where the boy is crying. So why immortality use them? Well, because it instantly makes the runtime almost unbearable. Often, as in “Under The Skin,” the use of young children is something that makes many viewers actively feel bad. You could even say it hurts a lot.
But “Skinamarink” uses this to its advantage and centers the movie around a preschooler whose experience serves to frighten and emotionally paralyze us. This choice is ultimately what makes the movie work so well because it pushes us. Kevin’s perspective with one important difference: We have learned from the experience of many more years in this world. Kevin doesn’t know what we know and there’s no way we can help him. Moreover, we remember what it was like as a child to feel an ominous presence in the shadows of our homes. Combine all these sensations in your stomach in the front of your brain and you have a Molotov cocktail designed to prey on every urge and instinct we have.