Skew DVD Review
Written by Sharon Davies
DVD released by Signature Entertainment
Written and directed by Sevé Schelenz
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 83 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 11th June 2012
Rob Scattergood as Simon
Amber Lewis as Eva
Richard Olak as Richard
“All physical bodies are made up entirely of an infinite number of ghostlike skins, one on top of another. Photography has the power to peel away the top most of these layers. Exposure to the camera actually diminishes the self.” -Honore de Balzac
This quote opens this found footage flick into the lives of three newly introduced victims… ahem… I mean friends and exposes one of the skeleton storylines of Skew.
Meet Richard and Eva, a young and carefree couple who with their friend Simon and his practically grafted-onto-skin handheld camera are driving across country to attend a wedding together. Simon films every single moment of their adventures, during which he realises that his camera has an annoying habit of “skewing” certain people’s faces. Lo and behold, soon after these poor unfortunates meet an unexplained and rather unpleasant end.
As the three get closer to their destination, Simon's camera leaves a trail of bodies in its path and tensions are raised when the relationship between them, and whether they survive or not plays out. Why is the camera seemingly doomed and will it ever “skew” the three friends' faces? Watch on and see.
OK so, I am definitely a champion of the found footage platform, I absolutely love films such as [REC], Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity and really enjoy being a part of the horror unfolding... when it’s done well.Not that Skew doesn’t have good intentions and after watching it more than twice I now see some of the clever layers that first time director Sevé Schelenz has placed within the storyline. It has echoes of Wolf Creek and The Ring mixed with your usual found footage over the top melodrama and some of the intentional scares are pretty good for a film which has such a low budget.
The difficulty for me is that the acting is really scraping the barrel, to a point where I massively disliked each and every character. I eagerly looked forward to their demises and in my opinion it didn’t happen quick enough. That’s another issue, the pace. I appreciate it is meant to move in a realistic timeframe but there is a point during this film when I left it running, made a cup of coffee, fed my goldfish, considered politics for at least 5 mins and returned for nothing much to have happened, other than more painful dialogue.
The thing about “real” footage is it should drag you into it, its POV being so real that you are one with the piece, whereas this just jutted its way through with painfully unrealistic dialogue and unrecognizable relationships.
On a positive note the effects are actually rather good (although as this is possibly the only thing the budget was spent on) and left me pretty impressed, also the layers on this film do reveal more with repeat viewings.
Overall a good effort by director Schelenz and with some wiser casting decisions this would have rated higher on the Richter scale of film.
Video and Audio:
As this is a found footage vibe then it's purposefully poor quality with no soundtrack at all.